Apple (AAPL)’s stock traded higher Tuesday afternoon after hedge fund manager Doug Kass tweeted that the company might announce a stock split to boost shareholder value. Talk of a possible split — Apple has done 3 in its history: 1987, 2000 and 2005 — comes ahead of the tech giant’s investor meeting, scheduled for today at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Kass’ tweet of “hearing a rumor that Apple will announce a stock split at [Wednesday]’s shareholder meeting” appeared to turn around the bleeding the stock had incurred earlier in the day. The ticker had been lagging the S&P 500 by 0.8% and had traded to as low as $437 (near its 52-week low of $435) until the tweet. Shortly after the speculative news hit the Twitterverse, Apple shares spiked 12 points to print the tape at $449 a share.
But here’s where things get really interesting.
Soon after Apple hit a NHOD, Kass put out another tweet saying that it’s about time to dump some of his Apple shares:
@DougKass”Apple is now trading near $449, up from the day’s low of $437.65. Prudence dictates that I sell off some of this outsized positions“.
One hour after the tweet, which had already pushed Apple up as much as 2 percent to $451 p/sh, Kass tweeted again, saying the rumor seems baseless based on the current share authorization.
@DougKass “Apple continues to climb – now up by over $8. I continue to pare back as the rumor seems to be baseless based on current share authorization.“
Well, if this isn’t a classic pump and dump trade, don’t know what is. That said, Kass has defended his tweets, saying that the rumors were “all over the Street” since investors anticipate what Apple may discuss at the meeting.