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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/the-idea-that-it-is-too-much-for-the-management-30951997.aspx

Subject:  Re: say no to financial engineering distractions Date:  11/1/2013  2:32 AM
Author:  NailThatJello Number:  197696 of 203125

the idea that it is too much for the management of a nearly half-a-trillion dollar business to walk and chew gum at the same time is absurd. They should be able to focus first on their core business, but also have time for sound financial management and capital allocation.

I think you've spotted the weakness in your own argument. It is inconceivable that Apple has not thought very carefully about its money pile, even while it works on its products.

If you can accept that Apple has indeed thought carefully about its cash pile, then logic would lead us to believe that they are holding onto it for some compelling reason. It is doubtful that they are doing it just for a security blanket or to admire it like King Midas.

The second thing to consider is that if they have some big ideas on what to do with it, they would of course not tell us. Or Carl Icahn for that matter. Because they don't give away critical business secrets. So just because that pile is huge and growing, does not infer the conclusion that Apple is clueless or careless about it. To me that would be a bizarrely unlikely explanation. They are simply keeping their plan secret. Like they always do, and for good reason.

So, if those ideas seem reasonable - that Apple has indeed thought carefully about its cash pile, has something in mind to do with it but won't tell us what that is - then the important question becomes:

Should long term investors trust Apple's judgement, or reject that and back Carl Icahn whose strategy is well documented - gut companies and sell off their parts and run?

For me the answer is pretty obvious.
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