Carl Icahn’s New 13F Confirms What We Already Knew: He Likes Energy, Loves Apple
In November, billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn’s Icahn Capital filed its 13F for the third quarter of 2013 with the SEC. Many of the fund’s moves weren’t exactly news; because Icahn tends to take large positions, even in large-cap stocks, he is often forced to file 13Ds shortly after taking a position. Still, it can be useful to track what he has been doing over time.
Apple. We can’t mention Carl Icahn’s name without discussing Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). The entire world knew that the billionaire activist was long here because of a certain social media network, but his latest 13F tells us exactly how much stock he owned at the end of September: 3.8 million shares worth $1.8 billion.
In a now infamous letter to Tim Cook in late October, Icahn unveiled he has upped his stake in Apple to nearly $2.5 billion worth of stock, which we estimate would make it his third largest equity holding behind CVR Energy (NYSE:CVI) and Icahn Enterprises (NASDAQ:IEP). It remains unclear if Apple and Cook will follow Icahn’s advice and boost their share buyback to $150 billion. Icahn has expressed concern that a “window” for such a move to take place only lasts a short while, but he has set a three-year price target of $1,250 on the stock if the buyback is boosted. We’ll be watching closely, and keep a particular eye on Icahn’s Twitter account.
Energy companies. You probably also know that Carl Icahn is an activist at Talisman Energy (NYSE:TLM). In an SEC filing at the beginning of October, Icahn disclosed that he owns a significant chunk of the oil and gas producer’s outstanding stock, indicating that he believes there’s value to unlock, as he so often states. In the case of Talisman, it’s also worth noting that former Icahn pupil Keith Meister has a significant position in the company as well, though it’s passive in nature.
Icahn’s history of activism at energy companies like CVR, Chesapeake and Transocean (NYSE:RIG) should give investors confidence that a board shakeup or management restructuring will do the trick at Talisman. As we’ve noted before, the company has hidden value in its Iraqi assets, which could be realized via a sale. It’s also possible that Talisman is open to selling assets in Asia, or the entire company if a bidder offers a good price. On a pure valuation basis, there’s upside of 4% on the low side and up to 50% on the high side here, depending on what scenario Talisman chooses to pursue.
The activist also upped his stake in Chesapeake by 11% and increased his position in Navistar (NYSE:NAV), a heavy machinery company, by 12%.
Notable sales. As you probably expected, Icahn sold out of his Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) stake as the company went private earlier this year, and he also closed his entire stake in Hain Celestial (NASDAQ:HAIN) and WebMD (NASDAQ:WBMD). One move that didn’t show up on this 13F, but should be mentioned anyway, is his decision to slash his Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) stake by more than half in late October. He still holds 4.5% of the streaming video company in his equity portfolio.