Motorola has confirmed it received notice Carl Icahn is seeking nomination to its Board of Directors at its 2007 annual shareholder meeting (date TBA). Icahn is said to own 33.5 million shares (1.4%). The WSJ reports Icahn said in an interview he wants Motorola to use all of its $11.2b in cash to repurchase shares he says are priced "unrealistically low." Motorola has bought back $4.7b shares of an approved $8.5b since May '05. Icahn also said he was infuriated by Motorola's comment in its latest conference call that it has no plans to adjust its debt level. Analyst comments: A Kaufman Bros analyst suggests this is the first step towards restructuring and possibly a recapitalization or breakup (he estimates a $35 - $40/share "sum-of-the-parts" valuation). A T. Rowe Price manager says he's "not so sure this is a broken company that needs someone to tear it apart and fix it." Cowen & Co. says Motorola's problems are on the marketing and product side, and he's not sure how Icahn can help. Motorola's shares opened 6.5% higher yesterday at $19.50, adding nearly another one-half percent to close at $19.58.NOK), Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (ERIC). ETFs: HOLDRS Broadband (BDH), HOLDRS Wireless (WMH), iShares Goldman Sachs Semiconductor (IGW), iShares Goldman Sachs Networking (IGN)
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