When asked about his profit from his investment in Apple, Icahn declined to comment, but he pointed out, “I will certainly say Apple is one of the greatest companies of all time.” The activist investor currently owns 52 million shares of Apple.
Icahn joins company of elite investors
Lawrence Delevingne, an enterprise reporter for CNBC noted that Icahn’s profit from Apple put him in the company of elite investors who made billions of profits such John Paulson, George Soros, David Tepper and Bill Ackman.
Soros made approximately $1 billion from shorting the British pound in 1992. Paulson profited around $16 billion from shorting subprime mortgages in 2007. Tepper generated $7.5 billion in profits by going long on financial stocks in 2009. Ackman made around $3 billion from his investment in General Growth Properties Inc from 2008 to 2014.
Icahn values Apple stock at $240 per share
Yesterday, Icahn said the operational performance and growth of Apple was impressive in a letter to CEO Tim Cook. According to him, Apple should be worth $240 per share today after evaluating its tremendous success.
He added that the tech giant is poised to enter and dominate two new categories—the television next year and automobile by 2020. He estimated that these categories had combined addressable of $2.2 trillion.
In addition, Icahn also noted that now is the time for Apple to implement a larger shares buyback since its current trading price is lower than his estimated $240 per share valuation for the stock.
Icahn’s reaction to report that Apple ditched TV plans
Apple shares closed at $130 per share on Tuesday. The stock price of the company increased from $85.33 per share to $134.54 per share over the past 52 weeks. Apple gained nearly 18% of stock value year-to-date or more than 52% over the past year.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple quietly shelved plans to introduce an ultra-high definition television more than a year ago based on information from people familiar with the situation.
The sources said Apple searched for breakthrough features such as sensor-equipped cameras in addition to an ultra-high definition display for TV. However, the executives of the tech giant concluded that such feature was not compelling enough to enter the market, which is highly competitive.
Apple is currently focused on creating an online TV service and redesigning Apple TV box, according to the sources. They also indicated that Apple didn’t officially kill its project to make televisions, although the team was disbanded, and its members were assigned to work on different products.
Commenting on this report, Icahn told CNBC, “I don’t quite understand the article. I respect the Wall Street Journal, but I have to admit, I am a bit confused by the article.”
When asked if he doesn’t believe the report, Icahn replied that he doesn’t even know what it says. The activist investor said he believes the second part of the report it stated that Cook has the grand vision for the television.
Icahn emphasized that it was not important whether Apple ditched its television plans or not. According to him, “Over the years, I made a lot of money simplistically. As far as I am concerned, Apple is one of these companies that come along with great ecosystem very hard to compete with it. It’s a no-brainer.”
Icahn says Lyft can survive
Icahn invested $100 million in Lyft, a ride-sharing company. The activist investor believes that “ride-sharing is poised to become a fundamental component of our transportation infrastructure.”
He also noted that the company’s revenue growth has been “extremely compelling” to date, and he expects Lyft to maintain that trajectory based on his perception that the urbanization would accelerate over the next five to ten years.
During an interview with CNBC, Icahn admitted that his investment in Lyft was risky, but he believes that the company will survive. He said, “I think Lyft will get the money they need to survive and compete.” He estimated that Lyft is worth “a lot more than $2 billion,” and indicated his interest in “putting more money in” the company.