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Icahn May Increase His Apple Stake

Carl Icahn may be ramping up his already sizable bet on Apple. At some point. If it weren’t for the stock market.

CNBC reported Wednesday (Sept. 30) that the famed investor, never one to shy away from big positions and one known for his activist stance for many positions, appeared on air with the station and stated he was “considering buying a lot more” of the consumer tech giant and referred to its common shares as a “no brainer.”

So what keeps him from pulling the trigger? The wild swings not of the price of Apple shares themselves but of the market in general. During the interview, Icahn said, “We own 55 million shares or something. We would be buying a lot more if I wasn’t as concerned about the market. I think it’s just one of the great situations of many years.”

[bctt tweet=”So what keeps him from pulling the trigger? The wild swings not of the price of Apple shares themselves but of the market in general.”]

With a bit more color, Seeking Alpha notes that earlier this year Icahn had set a $240 price target on the stock, which is now at $109 and change, tied to the anticipation of a TV offering that has yet to surface. Icahn had also trumpeted Apple Pay before its debut, with an eye on the company’s further solidification of its famed ecosystem. Key impetus there? The movement of retailers to upgrade infrastructure to include near-field communication and margins gleaned from a few basis points per transaction, even as it gets a larger and larger slice of the credit card transaction pie.

Icahn is also, according to his recent CNBC appearance, bearish on the high-yield debt market for now but not on Apple’s own trips to the leverage well, with an emphasis on the company’s continued stock buybacks. The company had spent as much as $10 billion on buybacks in FQ3.

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