Buy, sell, buy, sell!

Madeleine Swain
29 January, 2014
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Despite breaking records in sales of both iPhones and iPads during the first fiscal quarter of 2014 and even managing to grow sales of Macs (while sales of PCs continue to plummet across the planet), Apple’s share prices took a hit yesterday.

TechCrunch notes that there is nothing unusual about this. “Remember, Apple’s stock has dropped the day after quarterly earnings for every earnings report, ever. This happens for a number of reasons — analyst concern over certain markets being saturated, analyst concern over competition in emerging markets, analyst concern over generally slowed growth,” says the tech site.

Some people aren’t interested in history though. And one such is the venerable Donald Trump, him of the cantilevered hairstyle and “19 failed businesses in almost as many years” (thanks, Rolling Stone magazine).

But Trump is too busy tossing stones to consider the glasshouse he inhabits and has been quick to voice his disapproval of Apple’s business model. How? Need you ask? Hello Twitter.

 

Oh ye of little faith, Mr T. Didn’t you hear that every rumour mill worth its salt has run with the idea that Apple is currently working on at least one, if not two, larger screen sizes?

Not all Apple shareholders share Trump’s bleak view, however.

That other trigger-happy tweeter Carl Icahn may spend much of his time haranguing Tim Cook and asking for massive stock buybacks, but as soon as he smells possible profits in the air, he’s in like Flynn. As Apple shares sank to a low of US$503 on the morning of Tuesday 28 January, Icahn had his wallet out and started spending. Taking his share to nearly one percent of the company, Icahn announced he had bought another US$500 million worth of shares.

As is now customary, Icahn couldn’t wait to announce his move on Twitter.

As Forbes notes, “Icahn’s Apple holdings will be about US$4 billion after his new purchase, and it continues his policy of pushing the company to increase its share buyback program.” The business analyst site concludes that with Apple shares sitting down at 7.55 percent as of 11.27am EST (US time) on 28 January, “Icahn is likely using the stock drop as a chance to snap up more at a discount”.

It’s not the first time the two high profile business personalities have disagreed. BusinessInsider.com lined them up as one of the ‘nine all time nastiest feuds in finance’ for their spat over three Atlantic City casinos that belonged to Trump, but Icahn had his eye on.

So, who would you trust for your investment advice? Trump or Icahn?

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