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:
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.