Why Google Could See Activist Pressure
Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) could be on the cusp of see big shareholders lobby for capital returns.
Tim Seymour, a partner at Triogem Asset Management and a regular contributor on CNBC, told Benzinga that the tech giant "could be on the cusp of an Apple moment."
Activist investor Carl Icahn helped drive up the shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) 13 percent with a campaign launched in 2013 advocating bigger buybacks.
Icahn dropped the campaign in February 2014 in the face of opposition from other major shareholders, although he has recently been talking up the topic again.
At Google, "the voices could become a lot louder that they need to return capital," Seymour said, adding that the company "is in a position to do that" with more than $100 billion of cash on its balance sheet and much of it earning nearly nothing.
Seymor said Google's recent naming of Ruth Porat as CFO is "something that could speak to that," although he called the action "more symbolic than a major change in its capital allocation process."
Porat, who served as Morgan Stanley's (NYSE: MS) CFO, represents "rooting out the insiders' club in Silicon Valley" and will be seen by investors as a positive factor, Seymour said.
Check out the full interview below:
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