Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Dinner Date: An activist investor who recently sat down for a meal with Apple‘s (AAPL) CEO said he urged Tim Cook to drastically increase the company’s planned share buyback, Bloomberg notes. Carl Icahn indicated that he “pushed hard” to convince Cook that Apple should boost its share repurchase program to $150 billion during the “cordial dinner.” Apple announced earlier this year that it plans to return $100 billion to investors through higher dividends and a $60 billion share buyback. In August, Icahn announced that he had taken a $1 billion stake in Apple. He has since indicated additional Apple share purchases. The billionaire, who is famed for waging prolonged battles with company management teams, said he thinks that upping the buyback program is a “no brainer” and that he “argued very hard for it.” The dinner with Cook apparently was held at Icahn’s residence in New York this week. Icahn has said he thinks that Apple could boost its share price above $625 if it increases the share buyback.
No-Go: Sources tell Reuters that Apple’s suppliers cannot produce enough Retina iPad Minis in time for an October launch. Speculation over the timing of a Retina iPad Mini debut has oscillated over the past few months. During the summer, various reports suggested that Apple’s supply chain partners were having problems producing enough of the screens, potentially delaying the tablet’s introduction until 2014. Last month, however, other rumors suggested that Apple was moving to accelerate the Retina iPad Mini’s launch due to increasing competition in the 7-inch tablet market. The Reuters report — which says sufficient volumes of iPad Mini Retina screens would be ready by early next year — joins other recent reports suggesting that Apple doesn’t have enough units screens to support a Retina iPad Mini launch in the near term. Apple is expected to debut its fifth generation iPad this month. If a Retina iPad Mini is not unveiled by the end of the year, its absence could hurt the company’s tablet sales during the critical holiday shopping season.
The Biggest Hoard: Apple has about one tenth of all the cash held by U.S. corporations that aren’t financial service providers or banks, the Wall Street Journal notes. The analysis comes from Moody’s, which says that non-finance companies held $1.48 trillion in cash at the end of the second calendar quarter. Apple has cash holdings of $147 billion. Though Apple has announced plans to return $100 billion in dividends and share repurchases, the iPad-maker now holds 9.5% more cash than it did at the end of last year. Technology rival Microsoft (MSFT) has the next largest cash reserve at $77 billion.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.