Investors Resisting Rogue Apple Shareholder's Calls

Wall Street hedge fund manager's proposals falling on deaf ears.

By Chris Roberts
|  Thursday, Feb 21, 2013  |  Updated 4:20 PM PDT
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Hedge fund manager David Einhorn competing in the World Series of Poker in 2006. He's now gambling that he can convince Apple to unlock more cash benefits for investors.

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They don't call hedge fund manager David Einhorn a maverick for nothing.

Einhorn, the founder and principal of fund Greenlight Capital, is one of the biggest shareholders in Apple stock, and wants to lead a shareholders' revolt of sorts, according to the San Jose Mercury News. And so far, he's getting few converts.

Einhorn wants Apple, which has lost 37 percent of its value on the market since a peak of over $700 per share in September, to share more of its massive cash profits with investors.

Currently, Apple "hoards" a titantic cash reserve in the bank, with $137 billion of cash on hand. Most companies with such a huge liquid reserve will raise dividends or issue a one-time dividend to reward shareholders. Apple has done neither. In other words, that's cash that could be unleashed to make shareholders more cash, Einhorn argues.

Einhorn wants the company to isue special "dividend-bearing preferred stock" shares called "iPrefs," which would benefit the company's biggest shareholders -- such as himself and the California Public Employee Retirement System, the nation's biggest pension fund, the newspaper reported.

Einhorn is making his case ahead of Apple's annual investor meeting next week. His proposal isn't on the meeting's agenda; instead, he's asking other investors to get involved by proxy by blocking a measure that would prohibit the company's board of directors from issuing preferred shares -- such as the iPrefs -- without shareholders' consent.

CalPERS, which owns 2.7 million shares, has indicated it won't back Einhorn.

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