Carl Icahn’s Extremely Modest Investment

Carl Icahn is one of the most well-known activist investors around. We especially like tracking activist investors because they come with their built-in catalysts. Most value investors are able to find bargains, but a bargain that stays a bargain isn’t really a bargain. Activist investors make things happen.

Carl Icahn

Carl Icahn recently disclosed his portfolio activity. His huge Motorola stake has been transformed into $1.4 Billion Motorola Solutions (MSI) and $650 Million Motorola Mobility (MMI) stakes. The largest new position in Icahn’s portfolio is Clorox (CLX) with a $700 Million position. Icahn also had $55 Million in Amgen (AMGN) and $5 Million in Southern Union (SUG).

Icahn disclosed his Clorox stake on February 11th in a 13D filing and the stock closed above $70 that day. The following day the stock price went back down to $66. Yesterday Clorox closed at $70.57, so the stock price didn’t move much. Jim Simons’ Renaissance, Cint Carlson’s Carlson Capital, Phill Gross’ Adage, and Lance Helfert’s West Coast Asset Management had small positions in Clorox before Icahn disclosed his huge stake. By the end of first quarter Renaissance, Carlson and Adage sold their entire stake in Clorox, and West Coast Asset Management cut its stake by half. This implies that Clorox doesn’t have a lot of upside and Icahn made his Clorox investment targeting only a small profit (around 10%).

The table below summarizes Icahn Capital’s portfolio activity during the first quarter of 2011:

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