Apple: Carl Ichan Vs Tim Cook [Round #4]

Para quem perdeu os últimos 3 rounds/episódios da “novela” aqui fica o resumo e o mais recente round #4:

Era uma vez um investidor americano com uma fortuna avaliada em 20 mil milhões de dólares, chamado Carl Ichan que depois de ter perdido a disputa da oferta pública de aquisição da DELL, para o seu fundador Michael Dell, reparou que ficou com uns “trocos” disponíveis para investir. E, por algum motivo, quis continuar a investir em empresas tecnológicas.
Depois de olhar para as contas da Apple e perceber que “tecnicamente” a empresa está desvalorizada “gritou” para o seu corretor: “Compra, compra, compra…”.

CarlIchan-TwitterA avaliar pela forma como se apresenta no Twitter, o Sr. Ichan não se inibe de mostrar a sua arrogância e de se colocar acima dos vulgares descendentes dos Homo Sapiens.

Para tentar comprovar o seu quoeficiente de inteligência (Q.I.) superior, decidiu utilizar a administração do board da Apple que, tudo indica serem seres humanos com Q.I. acima da média.

Recapitulando então os #3 episódios / “rounds” desta “novela”:

Round #1
Dia 13 de Agosto decide informar o mundo através do Twitter que comprou ações da Apple e que também tinha falado com Tim Cook, CEO da Apple, para o informar que tinha “um novo sócio”.

Round #2
Dia 22 de Agosto novamente através do Twitter, informa o mundo que tinha agendado um jantar para Setembro com Tim Cook para discutir a magnitude de um buyback (compra de ações próprias).

Round #3
Dia 30 de Setembro o pré-anunciado jantar realizou-se no apartamento de Ichan em Nova Iorque… não apenas com Tim Cook, como tudo indicava, mas com outros executivos de outras empresas.
Depois do jantar, mais um tweet, a informar o mundo que pressionou bastante Tim Cook para que a Apple efectuasse forte compra de ações próprias.
Mas, em declarações à CNBC, ficou claro que o jantar não correu bem a Carl Ichan e que voltaria a conversar com Tim Cook dentro de três semanas… claro que as três semanas passaram e Tim Cook não lhe deu resposta.

O ex-Vice Presidente dos Estados Unidos, Al Gore, em recente entrevista à Bloomberg (Video), mostrou-se orgulhoso de pertencer à administração da Apple e elogiou Tim Cook. Quando questionado sobre os episódios com Carl Ichan, apenas respondeu “No comment on that!” acompanhado de um sorriso que o psicólogo Paul Ekman poderia interpretar como “Ele (Ichan) não sabe com quem se meteu…” 🙂

Hoje, tivemos um novo episódio / round:

Round #4
Carl Ichan, que tudo indica tem um ego maior do que a conta bancária, decidiu escrever uma carta aberta a Tim Cook e publicou a mesma no seu novo site (inaugurado hoje) –  Shareholders’ Square Table.

Os pontos essenciais desta carta são:
1) Carl Ichan recorda o prazo das três semanas (que passaram na segunda-feira, 21 de Outubro) para que Tim Cook continue o diálogo:

(…)We were pleased to hear at our dinner that you appreciated our input and that you would speak to us again in three weeks to continue the dialogue. (…)

2) Insiste que a Apple deve fazer um pedido de empréstimo à banca de 150 mil milhões de dólares para realizar uma compra massiva de acções próprias e que, com esta “engenharia financeira”, as ações da Apple poderão chegar aos 1.250 dólares em 3 anos.

(…)if the company decided to borrow the full $150 billion at a 3% interest rate to commence a tender at $525 per share, the result would be an immediate 33% boost to earnings per share, translating into a 33% increase in the value of the shares, which significantly assumes no multiple expansion.  Longer term (in three years) if you execute this buyback as proposed, we expect the share price to appreciate to $1,250, assuming the market rewards EBIT growth of 7.5% per year with a more normal market multiple of 11x EBIT.(…)

Na minha opinião, basta que a Apple mantenha o roadmap definido e apresente os “prometidos” produtos e serviços: wearables, TV, Internet Of Things, etc. que as ações da Apple podem em três anos ultrapassar este valor sem necessidade de “engenharia financeira”.
Vale a pena recordar também que a Apple já tem em curso um programa de compra de ações próprias e distribuição de dividendos (que para Ichan não são suficientes).

3) Ultrapassou a “linha vermelha” quando considerou a equipa de gestão (e em particular o CFO da Apple) de incompetente na gestão financeira:

(…)Apple’s Board of Directors does not currently include an individual with a track record as an investment professional. In my opinion, any further delay in executing the buyback we hereby propose will reflect this lack of expertise on the board.(…)

Não sei quantos “rounds” esta “novela” terá, mas o final tal como já tinha referido será que Carl Ichan vai perder por KO (Knock Out)!

Um outro investidor norte-americano, Bill Gross através do Twitter sugeriu a Carl Ichan que deixe de perturbar a equipa de gestão da Apple e seguir o exemplo de Bill Gates, para provar a sua inteligência ajudando os outros em vez de ter comportamentos egoístas.

 

Em entrevista hoje à CNBC, disse que se a administração da Apple não ceder irá avaliar a posição de outros acionistas em relação a este tema para avaliar a possibilidade de uma “luta”.
Questionado pelo jornalista, se Steve Jobs ainda estivesse na Apple se ele também tomaria esta posição, Ichan referiu que sim.

E muitos questionam se Steve Jobs estivesse vivo e ainda em funções na Apple, qual seria a sua resposta a Carl Ichan?
Decidi ligar por FaceTime para a “Nuvem” do Steve e esta foi a resposta que me disse que daria a Carl Ichan…
E esta é daquelas imagens que valem mais do que mil palavras 🙂
SteveJobs-F

Aqui fica a carta aberta na integra de Carl Ichan a Tim Cook:

Carl C. Icahn
Chairman
Icahn Enterprises
767 5th Avenue, Suite 4700
New York, NY 10153
October 23, 2013
Tim Cook
CEO
Apple Inc.
1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014

Dear Tim:

It was a pleasure meeting you for dinner at the end of September. When we met, my affiliates and I owned 3,875,063 shares of Apple. As of this morning, we owned 4,730,739 shares of Apple, an increase of 22% in position size, reflecting our belief the market continues to dramatically undervalue the company, even when taking into account the recent market appreciation, which in turn makes our proposal unchanged with respect to a $150 Billion buyback. We were pleased to hear at our dinner that you appreciated our input and that you would speak to us again in three weeks to continue the dialogue. In anticipation of doing so soon, we aim to reiterate in this letter the point of view already expressed to you directly with the hope of effectively summarizing it for the company’s board of directors and our fellow shareholders.

From our perspective, Apple is the world’s greatest consumer product innovator and has one of the strongest and most respected brand names in history. We consider Apple to be our most compelling investment.  I first informed my followers on Twitter on August 13, 2013 of my “large position.” I also expressed to you my opinion that “a larger buyback should be done now.” At that time, we owned 3,448,663 shares and the stock price was $467. Since then we have purchased an incremental 1,282,076 shares (bringing the total value of my position to $2.5 Billion) and we currently intend to buy more.

We want to be very clear that we could not be more supportive of you, the existing management team, the culture at Apple and the innovative spirit it engenders. The criticism we have as shareholders has nothing to do with your management leadership or operational strategy. Our criticism relates to one thing only: the size and timeframe of Apple’s buyback program. It is obvious to us that it should be much bigger and immediate.

When we met, you agreed with us that the shares are undervalued. In our view, irrational undervaluation as dramatic as this is often a short term anomaly. The timing for a larger buyback is still ripe, but the opportunity will not last forever. While the board’s actions to date ($60 billion share repurchase over three years) may seem like a large buyback, it is simply not large enough given that Apple currently holds $147 billion of cash on its balance sheet, and that it will generate $51 billion of EBIT next year (Wall Street consensus forecast).

The S&P 500 trades at roughly 14x forward earnings. After backing off net cash, Apple trades at just 9x (not factoring into account that the company has a significantly lower cash tax rate than the rate Wall Street analysts use).  This discount (cash adjusted) becomes even more compelling given our confidence that Apple will grow earnings per share at a rate well in excess of the S&P 500 for the foreseeable future.  With such an enormous valuation gap and such a massive amount of cash on the balance sheet, we find it difficult to imagine why the board would not move more aggressively to buy back stock by immediately announcing a $150 Billion tender offer (financed with debt or a mix of debt and cash on the balance sheet).

While this would certainly be unprecedented because of its size, it is actually appropriate and manageable relative to the size and financial strength of your company.  Apple generates more than enough cash flow to service this amount of debt and has $147 billion of cash in the bank.  As we proposed at our dinner, if the company decided to borrow the full $150 billion at a 3% interest rate to commence a tender at $525 per share, the result would be an immediate 33% boost to earnings per share, translating into a 33% increase in the value of the shares, which significantly assumes no multiple expansion.  Longer term (in three years) if you execute this buyback as proposed, we expect the share price to appreciate to $1,250, assuming the market rewards EBIT growth of 7.5% per year with a more normal market multiple of 11x EBIT.

It is our belief that a company’s board has a responsibility to recognize opportunities to increase shareholder value, which includes allocating capital to execute large and well-timed buybacks. Apple’s Board of Directors does not currently include an individual with a track record as an investment professional. In my opinion, any further delay in executing the buyback we hereby propose will reflect this lack of expertise on the board. My firm’s success and my expertise as an investor would be difficult for anyone to argue. Per my investment thesis, commencing this buyback immediately would ultimately result in further stock appreciation of 140% for the shareholders who choose not to sell into the proposed tender offer. Furthermore, to invalidate any possible criticism that I would not stand by this thesis in terms of its long term benefit to shareholders, I hereby agree to withhold my shares from the proposed $150 Billion tender offer. There is nothing short term about my intentions here.

Sincerely,

Carl Icahn
Chairman, Icahn Enterprises (IEP)

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