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Apple? Einhorn Just Doesn’t Get It: Cramer

Jim Cramer takes issue with some of the demands made by David Einhorn concerning Apple.

David Einhorn, who is a widely followed hedge fund manager, filed a law suit against Apple on Thursday. With as much as $137 billion in cash on the balance sheet Einhorn feels Apple should return some of that cash to shareholders.

Specifically, Einhorn wants Apple to distribute high-yielding preferred stock and charges that the company is trying to adopt new rules to prevent that from happening.

In an interview on CNBC, Einhorn confirmed that he's not happy with the way Apple manages its finances. Einhorn says that Apple has such a conservative attitude with its cash that its behavior reminds him of his Depression era grandmother.


In response, Apple said in a statement, "we will thoroughly evaluate Greenlight Capital's current proposal to issue some form of preferred stock…Contrary to Greenlight's statements, adoption of Proposal #2 would not prevent the issuance of preferred stock. We remain committed to having an ongoing dialogue with our shareholders to get perspectives around return of capital and driving shareholder value."

"Now, I have to admit I have, at times I too have groused about Apple not putting this capital to work in a useful fashion," said Jim Cramer. "However, I have never thought, in a million years, that somehow Apple had become a bad actor because of its conservative ways of handling its money. I have simply thought that it should be more creative in figuring out how to put it to use."

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In other words, Cramer thinks Einhorn has gone too far.

"Einhorn can certainly question what Apple's doing with its cash, (but a lawsuit) is very wrong-headed and an unfair move," he said.

Cramer believes Apple has every right to hold that cash.

"This is a high quality problem, to say the least, a by-product of enormous success that can be solved simply by Apple raising its own dividend," said Cramer. "I have no doubt that if the company were to institute a bigger buyback and/or double its dividend shares would go higher, perhaps appreciably higher. "

However Cramer thinks the real solution is for Apple to develop new and innovative products; if the company does that – he believes everything else will fall into place.

Cramer also said not to forget that although Apple's 1 year return has been lackluster – over 3 years Apple has returned 137% and over ten years Apple has returned 6000%.

"It's been able to give you that return because it's followed the dictum suggested by its late founder, Steve Jobs, that if you just produce the best products, which arguably Apple has done, everything takes care of itself."

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"Oh let's not forget something else," said Cramer. "The great thing about stocks is that we are all free to sell them. If Einhorn's unhappy with the long-term record of Apple, or if he is a "what have you done for me lately" manager, he is free to sell the stock any time he wants."

In the end, Cramer thinks it will all come out in the wash. That is, the company's proper valuation will be determined by the market – no matter what it does with the cash.

"Apple's superior products and its 6000% return over the last decade speak for themselves," said Cramer. "I think they merit sticking with the company. Everything else is just artifice and a parlor game."

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? madcap@cnbc.com

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