Apple shareholders should reject Icahn's buyback proposal: proxy advisor

SAN FRANCISCO Fri Feb 7, 2014 12:52pm EST

A clerk arranges Apple's iPhone 5C phones on racks bearing the logo of China Mobile, at a mobile phone shop in Beijing December 23, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

A clerk arranges Apple's iPhone 5C phones on racks bearing the logo of China Mobile, at a mobile phone shop in Beijing December 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Proxy advisory firm Egan-Jones advised Apple Inc shareholders on Friday to reject activist investor Carl Icahn's demand that the iPhone maker expand its stock buyback program, a proposal that will be put to a vote this month.

"The board and management team have demonstrated a strong commitment to returning capital to shareholders over the past two years," the firm, the smallest of the three major proxy advisory outfits, said in a report obtained by Reuters on Friday.

Icahn is waging a campaign to get Apple to return more cash to shareholders and has filed a resolution proposing that it gives back $50 billion more through share buybacks. That proposal will be put to a vote at Apple's Feb 28 shareholders' meeting.

(Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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