Hedge fund shakes a statement out of Apple. The stock pops.

February 7, 2013: 4:42 PM ET

The prospect of a piece of Apple's cash hoard warms Wall Street's cold heart




FORTUNE -- On Thursday morning, Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn -- a billionaire hedge fund manager who controls more than a million shares of Apple (AAPL) -- was all over the cable business news channels promoting his ideas for how the company might reward investors like him with some of the $137 billion in excess cash it has socked away.  (See What exactly does David Einhorn want from Apple?)

Apple, he told anyone who would listen, should give shareholders a special dividend, beyond the $2.65 a share it is already paying, in the form of a so-called "perpetual preferred stock."

He also urged shareholders to vote against an amendment in Apple's proxy statement that would "eliminate 'blank check' preferred stock." And to drive home his point, he filed a lawsuit against Apple that would make it easier to vote its amendment down.

If he was hoping to get Apple's attention, he succeeded.

Roughly half an hour before the markets closed, the company issued a statement that contained this key passage:

"We find ourselves in the fortunate position of continuing to generate large amounts of cash, including $23 billion in cash flow from operations in the last quarter alone.

"Apple's management team and Board of Directors have been in active discussions about returning additional cash to shareholders. As part of our review, we will thoroughly evaluate Greenlight Capital's current proposal to issue some form of preferred stock. We welcome Greenlight's views and the views of all of our shareholders."

That did the trick. The stock popped. In the space of 20 minutes, Apple's shares jumped from about $455 to $470 -- their highest point since Jan. 23, the day the company reported its holiday quarter earnings.

Apple closed at $468.22, up $13.52 (2.97%) for the day.

Below the fold: Apple's statement in full.


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