Carl Icahn has told CNBC’s Scott Wapner that he has exited his Apple position.
The stock is down 2% in Thursday’s trading day.
Icahn told Wapner that he still liked Apple as a company. (He really does.) It’s just that its issues with China have him spooked.
“I don’t think it’s a price point [that would get him to go back into Apple stock]. I think it’s my opinion about what is happening in China,” he said.
In its earnings report earlier this week, Apple revealed that its sales fell 26% in greater China. There are two reasons for that. One is a general economic slowdown in China, and the other is the saturation of phones in China’s market. There are just a ton of them, and at all different price points.
“I think the stock is very cheap still on a multiple basis … I’m not the great expert on China and that bothers me … I’m worried about it … Apple, it’s not like a tsunami hit it, but it could hit it.”
He said it was “probably correct” that he made $2 billion on his position on the stock and thinks the company has a “tremendous future.”
“I got out because I’m worried about China … I hope to get back into it one day,” he added later.
Icahn got into Apple about a year ago, when he sent CEO Tim Cook an open later saying that he thought Apple was worth $240 a share. At $240 a share, Apple’s market cap would be $1.4 trillion and right now its $540 billion.
From Icahn’s letter:
It is our belief that large institutional investors, Wall Street analysts and the news media alike continue to misunderstand Apple and generally fail to value Apple’s net cash separately from its business, fail to adjust earnings to reflect Apple’s real cash tax rate, fail to recognize the growth prospects of Apple entering new categories, and fail to recognize that Apple will maintain pricing and margins, despite significant evidence to the contrary. Collectively, these failures have caused Apple’s earnings multiple to stay irrationally discounted, in our view.