Feature image credit: Insider Monkey
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn announced on Thursday that he has sold all of his shares in Apple Inc. due to concerns about China’s restrictions on the company.
In an interview with CNBC, the activist shareholder disclosed that he has dumped most of his 45.8 million shares worth $4.8 billion since February, just before the company’s shares started to slide. After dropping more than 7% this year, Apple’s market value has slid to about $521 billion.
“We no longer have a position in Apple,” Icahn said. “I got out because I’m worried about China.”
Apple recently closed down its iTunes movies and iBooks services due to pressure from the Chinese government. Icahn believes that Apple’s relationship with China makes an investment in the company risky.
“I’m talking about, could the thing with Apple escalate a little bit? And if that does, what does that mean to Apple’s profits during the interim?” Icahn said.
He also revealed that he had concerns about the smartphone market becoming saturated. Apple’s sales for this year’s Q1 fell 13% to $50.6 billion, the first time revenues dropped in 51 consecutive quarters.
“We have this huge profit so by definition it’s not the no-brainer it was — but two — if China was basically steady I would probably go back into (Apple),” he said. “I hope one day to get back into it.”
Back in August 2013, when Icahn announced his large stake in Apple Inc. via Twitter, he urged CEO Tim Cook for a larger share buyback as he claimed the company was extremely undervalued. As a result, the company’s shares grew by 5% by the end of close on the same day.
Apple’s shares fell 2.2% after Icahn’s interview was reported yesterday.