Legendary corporate raider Carl Icahn recently filed his second quarter Form 13F with the SEC. In this document, the investor disclosed most of his long equity positions as of June 30, 2014, worth more than $38.5 billion. His focus was mainly placed on industrials stocks (30.9% of his total equity portfolio) and, to a lesser extent, on healthcare (20.7%), information technology (20.6%) and energy (18.9%) companies.
As it is usual, his equity portfolio remained mostly unchanged: Mr. Icahn holds stakes in 19 companies, same as in the previous quarter. Between early-April and late-June, he started only one new position, and sold out of only one, as well. In addition, he increased his bets on 3 of his preexisting holdings, and trimmed his exposure to one of them. In this article we would like to take a look at –these- his most interesting moves over the past few months.
Mr. Icahn’s largest bet continues to be placed on Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP), a $13.3 billion market cap diversified holding company. Over the second quarter, the investor boosted his stake by roughly 3% and now owns more than 105.84 million Depository Units -representing limited partner interests in Icahn Enterprises LP, worth more than $10.55 billion. This position accounts for approximately 27% of his equity portfolio’s total market value.
Other major hedge funds betting on Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP) are Murray Stahl’s Horizon Asset Management, which last disclosed a 3% increase in its stake, to 4.25 million units, and Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, which more than quadrupled its stake in the company over the second quarter, and now owns 125,025 units.
As we have stated above, Mr. Icahn started just one new equity position over the past few months. Between April and June -inclusive, the investor acquired 2.73 million shares of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI); a couple of months later, around mid-August, he disclosed a marked increase in this stake. The activist investor now owns 14.96 million shares of the $7.6 billion market cap international media and marketing solutions company, which account for roughly 6.3% of its total outstanding stock.
As outlined in a recent article, Mr. Icahn “believes firstly that the stock is undervalued, but also that (…) the company can attain more value by splitting into separate entities to individually manage the print and broadcast properties of the company.” The billionaire assured that he will discuss the spit, and some other issues, with Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI)’s Board soon; the company has also confirmed its plans for such a split.
Although Mr. Icahn’s 14.96 million shares make him the largest hedge fund shareholder of record –amongst those that we track- at Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), other renown investors hold big stakes in the company. For instance, John W. Rogers of Ariel Investments, last disclosed holding 6.73 million shares, while Ric Dillon of Diamond Hill Capital owns 4.92 million shares. Once again, Jim Simons can be counted amongst the company’s supporters, holding 1.09 million shares.
The opposite was the case for Forest Laboratories Inc. (NYSE:FRX), which saw Mr. Icahn selling 30.66 million shares over the quarter. The closed out position accounted for more than 8.5% of his total equity portfolio, and was worth more than $2.8 billion.
Immediately after the end of the second quarter, Actavis plc (NYSE:ACT) announced the acquisition of Forest Laboratories Inc. (NYSE:FRX) in a cash and equity transaction valued at roughly $28 billion. Forest Laboratories Inc. (NYSE:FRX) is no longer traded publicly – independently, and Icahn has not disclosed any stakes in Actavis plc (NYSE:ACT).
Over the second quarter, two more companies saw Mr. Icahn boost his exposure: eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) and Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV). The first one experienced a 11% increase in the billionaire’s position, which now amounts to 30.8 million shares, worth more than $1.5 billion; the second one witnessed an 8% expansion in his bet, to 14.33 million shares, worth more than half a billion dollars.
eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) is a $65.77 billion market cap online commerce company that counts with the support of several major hedge funds, including Donald Yacktman’s Yacktman Asset Management, which owns 8.23 million shares, and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, with 8.03 million shares.
Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV), a $3.13 billion market cap heavy machinery and vehicles manufacturer, also seems to generate bullishness amongst hedge funds. On top of Mr. Icahn, Mark Rachesky’s Mhr Fund Management disclosed a 7% increase in its stake, to 13.98 million shares, while Mario Gabelli’s Gamco Investors declared a 2% expansion in its position, which now comprises 5.32 million shares.
Last in this list is Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), a $28.55 billion market cap internet television network that saw Mr. Icahn trim his participation by 22% over the quarter. The billionaire now owns 1.76 million shares, worth more than $777 million.
Another fund that has been diminishing its bet on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), but still holds big stakes, is D. E. Shaw, which holds 643,381 shares of the company, after a 58% decrease in its position.
Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no position in any stocks mentioned.