Apple ‘welcomes’ Greenlight view on cash hoard
By Hayley Tsukayama,
Apple has answered investor criticism, issuing a statement saying that it will “welcome” the views of Greenlight Capital — a firm that sued Apple in an attempt to stop it from changing the way it issues preferred stock and urged Apple to return more of its cash to investors.
Investor David Einhorn, who runs the fund, issued a news release Thursday urging fellow Apple stockholders to oppose the company’s plans. In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Apple said that it is listening to Greenlight and all of its shareholders, but that it’s proposed changes have the support of many shareholders.
Eihorn's objection to the changes stem, in part, from his contention that they would “eliminate” preferred stock, and he warned that such a move would hinder “Apple’s ability to implement value creating options.” Instead, Einhorn said, Apple should create a new security that would return more of its cash to stockholders. The company currently has a cash hoard of $137.1 billion.
But Apple said that the proposal would not, as Greenlight contended, eliminate preferred stock, but would give shareholders the right to approve its issuance. The statement said that Apple is “committed” to keeping the lines of communication with shareholders open.
Apple also noted that it has returned $10 billion of a planned $45 billion to shareholders as the result of a dividend plan announced last year.
“We find ourselves in the fortunate position of continuing to generate large amounts of cash, including $23 billion in cash flow from operations in the last quarter alone,” the company said.
Following the statement’s release, which came roughly 30 minutes before the market’s close, Apple’s stock jumped nearly three percent to $468.22 per share.
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