In its proxy filing for its Feb. 28 annual meeting, Apple (AAPL) urges shareholders vote against Carl Icahn's Prop. 10, a "non-binding advisory resolution" calling for Apple to spend at least $50B on buybacks in FY14 (ends Sep. '14).
Apple defends itself by stating competitive conditions and the company's pace of innovation "require unprecedented investment, flexibility and access to resources."
At the same time, Apple says its board and management are "thoughtfully considering options for returning additional cash to shareholders and are currently seeking input from shareholders as part of the Company’s regular review." Tim Cook stated in October Apple would hold off on making new capital allocation decisions until early 2014.
Icahn, who owns over $2.5B worth of Apple shares (less than a 1% stake), has said he would "test the waters" regarding a proxy fight if his calls for a bigger buyback were ignored.
RBC estimated in August Apple could boost its FY14 EPS by $4 by raising $55B in debt to finance additional buybacks.