One very prominent Apple investor isn't happy with "activist investor" Carl Icahn and his plans to return more money to shareholders. Anne Simpson, head of corporate governance for the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), was interviewed by Bloomberg yesterday and was outright angry with Icahn, saying, "We are uncomfortable with a raider coming into a company with a proposal to disgorge cash. Carl Icahn is a Johnny-come-lately."
As of September 30, CalPERS owned 2.4 million shares of Apple worth about US$1.2 billion. Simpson says that CalPERS is happy with Apple's current method of handling cash, returning about $100 billion to shareholders through dividends and stock buybacks. "We like what they're doing. They have a significant program for returning money to shareholders. Carl Icahn is late to the party."
Simpson's interview was a sign that the CalPERS fund will fight Icahn's proposal to raise the share price of AAPL by pumping up the stock repurchase plan. That might be a good thing for Apple; Icahn has a reputation for making hostile takeovers of companies, stripping them of assets and then walking away from the resulting chaos with a nice profit.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Shiho Fukada