Back on Feb. 7, Greenlight Capital (GLRE)’s David Einhorn started a little media frenzy when, during a CNBC interview, he accused Apple (AAPL) of exhibiting a “depression era mentality” for hording its massive $137 billion reserve of cash (in a manner that reminded him of his grandmother, no less).
His comments were provoked by Apple’s relatively timid proposal to eliminate its own power to issue preferred shares without submitting such a move to a shareholder vote, never mind that the company has always said it would submit such a decision to shareholder approval anyway. Einhorn wasn’t just talk though, as his comments were accompanied by a suit he filed with the SEC to eliminate the proposal from an overall resolution the company was attempting to pass.
On Feb. 25, it was announced that Einhorn actually won his suit, but when the smoke cleared it was difficult to see what he had accomplished, given that his stated intention was to get Apple to use some of its extra cash to issue preferred stock.
Now, however, it seems as though the pressure that resulted from that incident may have had its intended effect after all. On Tuesday, hedge fund manager Douglas Kass tweeted that, according to some unspecified source (a “gnome” “high above the Alps”, was the exact description given), Apple would announce a stock-split along with a special dividend at its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.
There has been much skepticism, especially on twitter, as to the credibility of Kass’s comment, especially as he is known to hold a long position in the company. All the same, the speculation sent the company’s share price up almost 1.4 percent, where it closed at $448.97. Apple has so far declined to comment.
Apple has done three 2-for-1 stock splits in the company's history: June of 1987, June of 2000, and February of 2005.
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