Apple cites reasons why shareholders should vote against Carl Icahn's proposal

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Dec 28, 2013 07:03 AM EST

Apple will hold its annual shareholder meeting in February next year. One of the proposals that they will discuss involved activist investor Carl Icahn's plan that the company should increase its stock buyback program next year to $50 billion, AllThingsD reported. Apple's Board of Directors asks shareholders not to favor the move.

The report featured Icahn's proposal and Apple's reasons why it should not get the support of shareholders.

Apple said the company's board and management team are carefully thinking of options to return cash to its shareholders and that as part of its regular review, it is getting input from their stakeholders about the matter. The company then explained that it has opened huge market opportunities for its breakthrough products like the Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad and the App Store and that the future ahead is going to be just as exciting for shareholders.

However, Apple said it needs to be flexible and have access to resources since it is in a stage of rapid innovation and is competing with a lot of global companies that have significant technical capabilities and capital. Apple also said that to be able to innovate successfully and be able to execute strategies against these companies, it would require careful stewardship of the management team and the board.

Apple said that in the past two years, it had shown a strong commitment to returning capital to its shareholders. The company said, "In March 2012, the Company announced a quarterly dividend and share repurchase program totaling $45 billion. In April 2013, the Board authorized a dramatic increase, more than doubling the size of the program to $100 billion, raising the dividend, and increasing the share buyback authorization to $60 billion. As such, the Company is one of the largest dividend payers in the world and has the largest share repurchase authorization in history. The Company has executed aggressively against the capital return program, spending $23 billion of the $60 billion share repurchase authorization in fiscal 2013 alone. These share repurchases have been funded in part by a $17 billion debt offering, the largest ever as of the time of issuance."

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