Carl Icahn drops Apple buyback proposal

Activist investor Carl Icahn appears to have had a change of heart about his plan for Apple to boost its stock buyback program.

In a letter to Apple shareholders on Monday, Icahn wrote that he has decided to ditch his "non-binding proposal, especially when the company is already so close to fulfilling our requested repurchase target."

Icahn for months has been urging Apple CEO Tim Cook to boost his company's plans for a stock buyback program. When companies buy back shares, they effectively reduce any watering-down of share value, giving large shareholders -- like Icahn -- even … Read more

Apple goes big with a $14 billion stock buyback

Apple took advantage of investor disappointment with the company's first-quarter financial results to accelerate its stock buyback plans.

The company repurchased $14 billion of its own shares in two weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Journal Thursday that he intends for the move to be both "aggressive" and "opportunistic."

"It means that we are betting on Apple. It means that we are really confident on what we are doing and what we plan to do," Cook told the Journal. "We're not just saying that. … Read more

Bill Gates: Microsoft has met with 'a lot' of CEO candidates

So much for the stereotype of the four-eyed nerd with a calculator for a heart. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates struggled to fight back tears as he told shareholders Tuesday that the company has met with "a lot" of CEO candidates in its hunt to find a replacement chief executive for the outgoing Steve Ballmer.

"It's a complex role to fill," Gates said, adding that both he and his lifelong friend and business associate Ballmer "share a commitment" to securing the right CEO to lead the company, choking up momentarily.

It had to be … Read more

Netflix's Hastings cautiously celebrates spike in stock price

Netflix's investors are most likely jumping off the walls today. The video streaming service came out with its third-quarter earnings on Monday, and the results are good news all around -- profit is up, revenue is up, and stock is way up. In fact, the company's stock has hit a record high of $392 per share in after-hours trading.

Despite the excitement centered on Netflix's new numbers, the company's CEO, Reed Hastings, has cautioned shareholders not to get too hyped about the skyrocketing stock price. Because, as Netflix well knows, what goes up often comes back … Read more

Ballmer: Microsoft's best days are still ahead

Steve Ballmer has penned his final shareholder letter as CEO of Microsoft. With a bittersweet air, Ballmer writes about the company's success over the past year and says that it's just the beginning.

"With the decisions we've made this year, the strategy we've put in place, the organization we've designed, the world-class talent we have, and the devices and services we are creating, we are well-positioned to deliver growth and world-changing technology long into the future," he wrote in the letter, which Microsoft released Monday.

Giving a nod to Microsoft taking a different … Read more

BlackBerry accused of propping up stock with false claims

A BlackBerry shareholder has filed a lawsuit against the struggling handset maker and two of its executives, alleging they made false and misleading statements about the company's financial health and the prospects for BlackBerry 10.

In a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Manhattan, investor Marvin Pearlstein alleges the company misled investors last year by saying BlackBerry was "progressing on its financial and operational commitments" and that the previews of its BlackBerry 10 smartphone platform had been well received by developers.

The lawsuit alleges that BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins further misled investors during a September 27, … Read more

BlackBerry bid will be financed, Fairfax's Watsa says

The man behind the consortium offering to buy out BlackBerry and take it private offered some insight into the deal on Wednesday.

Fairfax Financial Holdings CEO Prem Watsa told Reuters that he believes the consortium will be able to come up with the money needed to pay for the $4.7 billion bid.

"We wouldn't put our name to such a high-profile deal if we didn't feel confident that at the end of the day that our due diligence would be fine and we'd be able to finance it," Watsa told Reuters.

BlackBerry announced MondayRead more

Judge sides with AOL in lawsuit over Microsoft's $1B patent buy

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought against AOL by some of its former stockholders on Monday. According to Reuters, the former stockholders alleged that some AOL executives committed fraud when they bought millions of company shares before a major $1 billion patent sale to Microsoft.

However, according to Reuters, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote wrote in her opinion, "the complaint's conspiracy theory is mere speculation."

In 2012, AOL and Microsoft struck a deal when Microsoft agreed to pay AOL $1.06 billion to acquire some 800 patents and related applications. AOL said at the time … Read more

Dell delays shareholder vote on going private

Dell shareholders will have another week to consider whether Michael Dell's $24.4 billion buyout deal is worth taking.

Dell announced Thursday, just hours before the company was to hold a vote on whether it should be taken private, that it has postponed the vote until July 24. The meeting next week will provide shareholders with the opportunity to vote on whether they should accept the buyout deal or nix Michael Dell's offer.

The move on Dell's part doesn't come as much of a surprise. Although the board's special committee, which was charged with evaluating … Read more

ISS tells Dell shareholders to vote for $24.4B founder buyout

Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners have received a key endorsement for their $24.4 billion buyout offer for Dell.

Institutional Shareholders Services (ISS), a firm that advises public company shareholders on proxy voting and corporate governance, has endorsed the deal that Michael Dell and Silver Lake have offered to take the company private.

Under the terms of the deal, Dell shareholders will receive $13.65 per share for all outstanding stock not currently held by Michael Dell. After obtaining the shares, Dell and Silver Lake will take the company private and plan to focus its operation on several core … Read more