There is no denying that uber investor Carl Icahn has been very, very good for the shareholders of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL).
Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA) and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (NYSE: SPY) are down. But Apple is up for the last quarter, six months, and year of market action (chart below). For 2014, Apple is up around 21.50 percent. It has far outperformed both the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Ichan is calling for the company to take more action so that the stock rises 50 percent more!
That would certainly be a nifty trick in a down market in such as competitive sector.
But Carl Icahn is a very successful, billionaire investor. As such, he is capable of moving the prices of publicly traded companies in many circumstances. That has certainly been the case with the share price of Apple this year. While the new products introduced by Apple were important, so was the shareholder activism on the part of Icahn.
A huge part of the appeal for Apple now will be investors looking for a safe holding due to adverse market conditions.
In that role, Apple has four factors in its favor. It is very profitable, which leads to a healthy income statement. The finances are robust, contributing to a strong balance sheet. Ichan has the ability to move stock prices on his own. And, thanks to Icahn, Apple has an appealing dividend structure.
That is attractive to both income investors and those seeking safety in adverse market conditions.
It has already been a good year for the owners of Apple stock. It could be even better if Icahn can work his magic and take the stock price higher, as he has done before. Should that happen along with more investors viewing Apple as a safety stock, it could be a rewarding total return for the shareholders.