Is the Apple success narrative taking a twist?
The billionaire activist investor, Carl Icahn, once one of Apple’s largest external shareholders, has sold his full stake in the company.
He told CNBC business news last night that one of the reasons for doing so was his concern that the Chinese authorities could, if they so choose, make it very difficult for Apple to sell its products there.
"In Apple today as opposed to six months or a year ago, in this one, there’s no need for activism because I think they have a great management. But you worry a little bit, maybe more than a little, about China’s attitude," he said.
He added that he had spoken with the company's CEO, "Tim Cook did a great job. I called him this morning to tell him that and he was a little sorry, obviously. But I told him it’s a great company."
When asked if he would consider investing in the company again in the future, he replied, "I don’t think it’s the price point. I think it’s my opinion about what is happening with China. I think the stock is very cheap on a multiple basis. China could be a shadow for it, and we have to look at that."
The Apple share price which had fallen sharply earlier in the week in response to falling quarterly revenues and iPhone sales, slid by another 3% last night to under $95 per share
Meanwhile, Amazon shares surged by 12% to $678 last night after the online retailer delivered its most profitable quarter ever – more than $500m, equivalent to more than $1 per share and double some analysts expectations
The company’s performance was boosted by its growing and lucrative cloud data storage division