Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn says he has sold his entire stake in Apple.
He told cable TV network CNBC that was because of China’s economic slowdown and his worries about how the Beijing government could “come in and make it very difficult for Apple to sell there”.
Icahn owned 45.8 million Apple shares at the end of last year.
Icahn had been a huge cheerleader for the tech giant, buying his stake almost three years ago, and he has repeatedly calling that investment a “no brainer”.
And in the interview he said he had told Apple CEO Tim Cook it is “a great company”.
His revelations came just days after Apple posted its first decline in iPhone sales and its first revenue drop in 13 years.
Asked when he might get back in, Icahn replied: “I don’t think it’s the price point. I think it’s my opinion about what is happening with China. I think the stock is very cheap on a multiple basis. China could be a shadow for it, and we have to look at that.”
Icahn, who suggested that he made roughly $2 billion (1.75 billion euros) off the Apple trade, said he was in Apple for about three years and “if you bought the stock then, you got a 48 percent to 50 percent total return. We obviously made a great deal of money, but it was no surprise that we got out of some in February.”
Apple’s shares fell three percent on Thursday when the interview was broadcast and remained depressed on Friday.
During the interview Icahn also said he was “still very cautious” on the US stock market and there would be a “day of reckoning” unless there was some sort of fiscal stimulus.