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Apple shareholders cross fingers for bigger buyback

Monday, 30 Sep 2013 | 1:42 PM ET
Tim Cook and Carl Icahn
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Tim Cook and Carl Icahn

Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to meet with billionaire investor Carl Icahn on Monday, and it's widely speculated that Icahn may push for a bigger buyback.

(Read more: Icahn may look to take new bite at Apple: To meet with Cook)

During the last 18 months Apple has been active when it comes to returning cash to shareholders. In April, the company announced a massive stock buyback program of $60 billion before the end of 2015 and by June Apple had already bought $16 billion worth of its stock.

(Read more: Carl Icahn buys more Apple; calls it a 'no-brainer')

But Apple's move to increase shareholder value didn't seem to satisfy investors. Rather, based on its stock performance they appear to have an appetite for even larger returns, which is where Icahn comes in.

Icahn, who has taken a large stake in Apple, posted a tweet in August about pushing Apple to increase its stock buyback. He also said that Cook was on board with the idea and mentioned a planned September dinner with Cook to discuss the matter. The get-together is expected to happen in New York on Monday evening.

(Read more: Icahn takes position in Apple, says stock undervalued)

Dishing on Apple
What could today's meeting with activist investor Carl Icahn and Apple's CEO Tim Cook mean for your portfolio? Timothy Lesko, Granite Investment Advisors, provides insight.

Some Apple shareholders are hoping Icahn will get his way.

"I can't say there is a dollar figure we want him to press for," said Timothy Lesko of Granite Investment Advisors, which has owned Apple shares for over a decade. "We would like to see them increase the payout ratio. Right now, it's at about a 27 percent payout to shareholders, and perhaps they can move up to a maybe 30 to 40 percent payout to shareholders."

While Lesko said he is happy to see Apple, under Cook's leadership, dramatically increase its payout to shareholders, there is still room for even more value to be returned.

"As we continue to see Apple deliver on its promise furthering out the iOS infrastructure and developing new products, we would just like to see it consistently increase the amount back to shareholders," Lesko said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

"If they are going to generate $30 billion in free cash flow, it would just be nice to see, on a sequential basis, them to continue to give that back to shareholders."

By CNBC's Cadie Thompson. Follow her on Twitter @CadieThompson.

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  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

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  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

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