Well... that was fun while it lasted.
After months of cajoling, billionaire and activist investor extraordinaire Carl Icahn has thrown in the towel, and given up on his campaign over tech giant Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).
So where does this leave Apple?
Mr. Icahn's gripe with Apple's management and board of directors centered around its capital return policy. Simply put, Apple has too much cash on its balance sheet. Why not put Apple's burgeoning war chest to work by accelerating Apple's buyback pace to $50 billion annually, especially with its valuation so muted at its current levels. It's in some ways a fair argument.
However, Mr Icahn was repeatedly, at least partially, rebuffed by Apple's management, and recently by institutional investor corporate governance powerhouse ISS, leaving him hard up for allies in his Apple antagonism. Apple's $14 billion buyback binge in the two weeks following its most recent earnings-related sell-off also helped quell his argument.
So, where does that leave Apple and prospective investors in the tech giant today?
In the video below, tech and telecom analyst Andrew Tonner examines the pros and cons of investing in Apple as its largest activist begins selling his shares.