Shareholder proposal calls for Apple to buyback its shares on the public market

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Activist billionaire Carl Icahn put more pressure on Apple Wednesday by filing a formal proposal aimed at getting the technology giant to share more of its cash hoard with shareholders.

"Gave $AAPL notice we'll be making a precatory proposal to call for vote to increase buyback program, although not at $150 billion level," Icahn wrote on Twitter.

The filing calls for Apple to buy back its shares on the public market. Precatory proposals are requests that a company board of directors take specific action, rather than a demand that would be binding if approved by shareholders. The approach is used to avoid shareholder requests from being excluded from company proxy statements.

Earlier this year, Apple more than doubled its capital return program to $100 billion, including the largest share repurchase authorization in history.

"As part of our regular review process, we are once again actively seeking our shareholders' input on our program, and as we said in October, the management team and our board are engaged in an ongoing discussion about it which is thoughtful and deliberate," Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said.

Apple hasn't announced the date of its annual shareholder meeting yet, but the last one was held in February.

"We will announce any changes to our current program in the first part of calendar 2014," Dowling added.