Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), the most valuable technology company, responded to a challenge by David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital, saying it would consider plans to “enhance shareholder value,” which could include issuing preferred shares.
The announcement came hours after Einhorn announced he’d asked Apple, of Cupertino, Calif., to withdraw a shareholder resolution for its Feb. 27 annual meeting that would preclude the step. He also announced a lawsuit against Apple filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Einhorn, whose New York hedge fund owns 1.3 million shares, argued the company’s $137.1 billion in cash and investments is worth $145 per share and ought to be returned to shareholders. Apple said it had already returned $10 billion of a planned $45 billion through dividends and share buybacks under a program announced last year.
Apple said it was committed to “an ongoing dialogue” with shareholders and said “we welcome Greenlight’s views.” The company disputed Einhorn's claim the proposed change would preclude issuing preferred shares or other demands to return cash to shareholders.
Apple shares rose $13.55 to close at $465.25 in Thursday trading. They’re down about 35 percent from their all-time high set on Sept. 21.
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