"Buying back stock is fine, but it's not going to be the fix that Apple needs," said Colin Gillis, who covers Apple for BGC Partners. "It's like you're out of ideas. It might be better than just building up a mountain of cash—but while Apple is buying back stock, Google is snapping up the top robotics companies out there."
Gillis has a "hold" rating on the company, and a price target of $550.
Of course, Icahn says the long-term bullish case is very much intact, writing: "We are extremely excited about Apple's future. Additionally, we are pleased that Tim and the board have exhibited the 'opportunistic' and 'aggressive' approach to share repurchases that we hoped to instill with our proposal. ... They clearly seem to agree that our company continues to be extremely undervalued, and we all share a common optimism with respect to the company's bright long term future."
For Michael Khouw of Dash Financial, all this positive sentiment and activity suggests a slam-dunk options strategy.
"One of the things that people who are taking a look at this might do is take advantage of the situation and just look to sell some puts," Khouw said.
Selling a put gives an investor the obligation to buy the stock at that put's strike price, no matter how far it falls. If the stock is not below the strike price at the time of expiration, however, then the investor simply keeps the money they took in when they sold that put.
Specifically, on Friday's episode of "Options Action," Khouw suggested selling the 515-strike put for $25.
"The company is buying the stock at prices higher than [$515], and so is Carl. I think that's a pretty comfortable place to get in," Khouw said.