From Icahn’s letter to shareholders:
As Tim Cook describes them, these recent actions taken by the company to repurchase shares have been both “opportunistic” and “aggressive” and we are supportive. In light of these actions, and ISS’s recommendation, we see no reason to persist with our non-binding proposal, especially when the company is already so close to fulfilling our requested repurchase target.
The “recent actions” he references includes $14 billion in buybacks over the past two weeks, and Apple’s existing plan to buy back a total of $32 billion in 2014. Icahn claims that this is “only” $18 billion away from the $50 billion Icahn claims that he wanted. However, he originally requested that Apple buy back $150 billion of their own shares.
I guess what I’m saying is that Icahn realized he couldn’t buy off Tim Cook with dinner, nor could he convince shareholders of the merit of this. He was, of course, trying to be opportunistic, and it backfired.