FORTUNE -- The last time we wrote about Doug Kass -- a small hedge fund manager with a large presence on CNBC -- it was to document a neat little trick he played on his Twitter feed in February, the day before Apple's annual shareholder meeting.
Apple's (AAPL) share price was down and Kass was long the stock. He tweeted a rumor that the company was about to announce a split, the stock went up, he sold his shares at a profit, tweeted that the rumor was baseless and then spent the rest of the day hurling insults at his critics. (See A day in the Twitter life of Doug Kass.)
Well, Kass is at it again. On Sunday, citing the same "Gnome" that was the source for his stock split story, he tweeted:
Kass, it turns out, is not alone in suggesting that the solution to Apple's woes on Wall Street is to fire its CEO. We've been hearing whispers to that effect from disgruntled shareholders for weeks, but now -- two days before Cook is scheduled to report Apple's March quarterly earnings -- they've come to the surface.
And who's doing that? Let's take a look:
Make no mistake, the people who want Tim Cook's head on a spike are not friends of Apple. As far as I know, he still has the deep respect of the analysts who know the company best and -- most important -- the confidence of the board of directors who granted a million restricted shares of Apple as an incentive for him to stick around for at least a decade.
For the record, Apple is still trading higher today than it was when Cook replaced Steve Jobs. The forces that drove the stock up to over $700 and then down to below $390 seem to me to have more to do with a dysfunctional securities market than anything Cook has done as CEO.
"The market is crying uncle and something has got to give," says Oracle Investment's Laurence Isaac Balter, who has been banging the "Cook must go" drum for weeks.
"If a stock rally hits on this rumor before earnings it will be a sign for sure."
Now that's rich.
UPDATE: Rocco Pendola, who blows hot and cold on Apple, weighed in to say he's been publicly lobbying for Cook's ouster in his column on The Street since last Wednesday, including a piece Monday morning that called the decision to recommend Cook as CEO the worst decision Steve Jobs ever made.
A day in the Twitter life of hedge fund manager Doug Kass
FORTUNE -- Apple's (AAPL) shares moved sharply from the red to the green Tuesday afternoon. There are a couple theories why, but the leading contender is the rumor on Twitter posted just before the stock popped by Douglas Kass, president of the Seabreeze Partners hedge fund, frequent contributor to The Street and regular guest on CNBC.
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FORTUNE -- Apple's (AAPL) share price briefly touched $505.75 in Thursday's trading -- $200 (28.3%) off its mid-September high.
We needn't spell out here all the reasons that have been put forward over the past two months for why the stock was due for a fall. There's a whole literature of Apple FUD (fear, uncertainty and MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 17, 2012 11:37 AM ET
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