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Leonid Bershidsky

Icahn Was Half Right About Apple's Risk in China

Investors should be more worried about China's waning interest in the iPhone than about the political climate.
Customers with choice.

Customers with choice.

Photographer: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

One doesn't have to take Carl Icahn's decision to dump his big stake in Apple as an omen. The veteran activist investor has certainly been wrong about stocks before. His motives for the move, however, deserve careful examination.

Icahn held 45.8 million shares in Apple by the end of 2015, about 0.83 percent of the total shares outstanding, worth $4.8 billion at the time. It was the second-biggest holding in his portfolio after Icahn Enterprises LP, his diversified conglomerate. Now, according to Icahn himself, he's out of the stock he has repeatedly called undervalued.