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UPDATE 1-Icahn buys another $500 million of Apple shares

Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 | 3:46 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Activist investor Carl Icahn picked up another $500 million of Apple Inc shares on Thursday, taking the billionaire's total investment in the iPhone maker to $3.6 billion.

Icahn, who repeatedly has called Apple a "no brainer" even as he wages a campaign to get it to return more cash to shareholders, tweeted his latest move just a day after revealing a position of over $3 billion in the company.

In a lengthy letter to shareholders, a copy of which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, Icahn laid out familiar arguments as to why Apple should share more of its $146 billion cash hoard.

He said the stock's price-to-earnings multiple stood 71 percent below the S&P 500's and said the shares could be worth $840 if that gap was closed.

Apple's strong market position in smartphones and tablets does not justify the company's official stance that it needed to maintain reserves to compete in a fast-evolving consumer electronics industry, Icahn said.

"Even if the story ended with Apple's existing product and software lines, we would still choose to make Apple our largest investment," Icahn said in the letter.

"But there is more to the story! (CEO) Tim Cook keeps saying that he expects to introduce 'new products in new categories' and yet very few people seem to be listening."

Shares of Apple were up 0.6 percent at $555 in late trading. Apple was not immediately available for comment.

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