A couple of weeks back, Carl Icahn took to a regulatory filing to give himself a pat on the back for putting the kind of competent asses in boardroom chairs that instantaneously turn a company around. And no company got its ass more turned around than eBay, which boasted the worse corporate governance in the history of capitalism until Uncle Carl’s designee—well, not exactly designee, but someone inoffensive to both Carl and eBay—took his seat on June 17 and led the online auction site to an impressive 76% annualized return over the next 13 days, during which time eBay shares actually appreciated all of 2.2%.
That’s not bad for two weeks’ work, of course, but the crazy thing is that two months later, Icahn’s chart proving beyond any doubt that activism works or something actually understates his case. eBay shares are up 13.67% since former AT&T CEO David Dorman took his seat, and that annualizes out to something like 125%, give or take. Maybe he is a wizard. Or: Read more »
Would it have been nice to visit Channing and Jonah on the set of the third installment? Sure. Did a small part of him want to direct? Yes. Did he feel he could’ve brought a Queens school-yard authenticity to things? You betcha. But these are not the things that keep him up at night. Read more »
Carl Icahn sounded pretty pleased with himself a couple weeks ago, after another company had bent to his will, and in rapid time. Uncle Carl deemed his seven-week, $175 million-profit-making investment in Family Dollar “yet another validation of the activist investment philosophy.”
Well, Family Dollar buyer Dollar Tree wants it known that it isn’t going to be pushed around by a 78-year-old bully, even if he learned how to throw a punch on a Queens schoolyard. It was totally going to buy Family Dollar months before Carl Icahn got involved. In fact, it should be thanking him for getting involved and keeping its price down. Read more »
So Bill Ackman’s earth-shattering, research-redefining, can’t-miss company-killing “deathblow” didn’t exactly pan out yesterday, what with Herbalife shares soaring 25% yesterday as investors shrugged, “that’s all you got?” Now, it’s unclear what this exactly means for Pershing Square investors, since Ackman’s ninja restructuring of his $1 billion short last year makes precise P&L calculations impossible, but suffice it to say it means nothing good.
Nothing good for Ackman, anyway, but very good for new old buddy Carl Icahn, who remains a big believer in diet shakes in spite of Ackman’s best efforts to “get him out of the stock.” Two-hundred-and-thirty-four million dollars good. Good enough to let Uncle Carl leave the matter magnanimously unmentioned while also generously picking up the check at their next rendezvous at Marea. Read more »
When the BlackRock chief wrote about his lament about the “short-term demands of the capital markets,” he didn’t mention anyone by name. But Carl Icahn can read between lines like “too many companies have cut capital expenditure and even increased debt to boost dividends and increase share buybacks,” and he can’t help but notice that they contain the letters C-A-R-L-I-C-A-H-N.