Icahn Boosts Apple Bet

Sep 12 2013 | 1:00pm ET

Carl Icahn took advantage of a swoon in Apple shares to add to his already substantial stake in the electronics company.

The billionaire announced his purchase yesterday on CNBC. It is unclear how many Apple shares he owns; last month, he announced a "large position" in the company and yesterday he bought "quite a bit" more, he said.

"Apple is just a no-brainer," he told CNBC. "It's extremely cheap."

Icahn announced his interest in Apple on Twitter last month, saying he'd spoken with Apple CEO Tim Cook and planned to dine with him this month. Icahn is pushing for Apple to return some of its huge cash horde to shareholders via a buyback. He said yesterday that it would be "ridiculous" of the company not to take advantage of low interest rates to finance the deal.

But, he added, "I wouldn't go in and try to micro-manage, try to tell the company how to run their business," he said. "I think they have a great brand and it would be the height of presumption for me to tell the CEO… what he should price [the iPhone] at, or that he should go into China." Icahn added that Cook is doing a "very good job."

Icahn also couldn't resist another televised swipe at Pershing Square Capital Management's William Ackman, with whom he is feuding over Herbalife. Ackman has called the nutritional supplements company a "pyramid scheme."

"I think Bill Ackman is completely wrong," he said. "It is not going to be closed down and I think it's still very undervalued. And I think Ackman has no idea what he's talking about."

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