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Carl Icahn Gives Up. You Win, Apple Inc.

By Evan Niu, CFA and Erin Kennedy - Feb 10, 2014 at 9:00PM

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Apple just got some powerful support in its pushback against Carl Icahn and his aggressive stock buyback proposals.

Well-known billionaire and activist investor Carl Icahn has been loudly calling for Apple (AAPL 0.88%) to release some of its cash hoard to the benefit of shareholders by instituting very aggressive stock buyback programs. However, Institutional Shareholder Services has come out in support of Apple's position to reject Icahn's massive proposed buyback program, saying instead that while Apple has been a bit "sluggish" with buybacks, they have really ramped up recently. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced last week that the company has bought back $14 billion worth of shares over the past two weeks.

In this video from Monday's edition of Tech Teardown, Motley Fool tech and telecom bureau chief Evan Niu talks with host Erin Kennedy about the ISS's stance on the issue, and Apple's current share buyback plan. Evan looks back to last year when David Einhorn went on a similar crusade to push Apple into enacting a dramatic share repurchase plan, and he also says that while these very aggressive plans might not be appropriate, the company is now on track to buy back $32 billion worth of shares this year, which Evan sees as a better use of its cash than the unnecessary amount of stockpiling it had been doing before this point.

Erin Kennedy and Evan Niu, CFA, both own shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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