Icahn disses Apple board for not boosting stock buyback

The billionaire investor tweets that Apple's board is doing a "great disservice to shareholders."

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
James Martin/CNET

Activist investor Carl Icahn is on the Apple warpath again.

In a tweet posted Wednesday, Icahn said that "Apple's board is doing great disservice to shareholders by not having markedly increased its buyback." He also promised an in-depth follow-up letter that no doubt will detail his ongoing grievances.

Icahn has been battling to convince Apple to direct more of its $150 billion toward stock repurchases. Initially calling for a buyback of $150 billion worth of shares, Icahn scaled back the amount in December, instead asking Apple to commit to at least $50 billion of share repurchases in 2014.

Apple has urged investors to vote against Icahn's "precatory proposal" for an increase in the buyback plan when the issue comes up at the annual meeting scheduled for February 27.

Icahn has been playing good-cop, bad-cop in his quest to persuade Apple to up its buyback plan. The investor had dinner with Apple CEO Tim Cook last September to discuss the topic, an event he called "cordial." But Icahn hasn't been shy about publicly criticizing the company for not buying back more shares, especially at a time when he felt the stock was undervalued.

Icahn and his associates now own more than $3 billion worth of Apple shares after having purchased an additional $500 million over the past two weeks.

[Via The Wall Street Journal]