Aug 14 - Billionaire activist shareholder Carl Icahn is not slowing down, adding Apple to the list of companies he hopes to turn into winners for his portfolio, which includes Dell, Herbalife and Netflix. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is more than just a grumpy old man - at 77 years old - he's still shaking things up in the investment world. He's now focusing on Apple, announcing a big stake, which one person familiar with the matter said is worth around $1 billion. His logic: Apple shares could pop to as high as $700, if Apple took advantage of current low borrowing rates and plies $150 billion into stock buybacks. He's already having an influence - with shares of Apple breaking above $500 for the first time since January. In a related investment, Icahn has a 16 percent stake in Nuance, the software company's voice recognition feature is part of the iPhone's Siri. But it's the bitter feuds that he's known for. He's amassed an 8.9 percent stake in Dell, using that to try and force founder Michael Dell not to take the company private in a $25 billion buyout. And then there's Ackman vs. Icahn in the battle of the funds. The prize: Herbalife. Not yet a knock out - Icahn is winning this one. Also a winner: He successfully fought to get representation on the board of Forest Labs. He owns about an 11.5 percent stake there. But the recent jewel in his jewel is Netflix. He holds a 10 percent stake in the internet media company - whose market value has spiked to over $15 billion this year - after basically being left for dead last year. Just look at his Twitter feed and you'll see his philosophy in plain view: "I make money studying natural stupidity."