Famous investor Carl Icahn cuts back on his Take-Two holdings.
Billionaire and corporate raider Carl Icahn announced back in August 2006 that he and his Icahn Management fund had purchased 1.1 percent, or 800,000 shares, of game publisher Take-Two Interactive at around $10 a share, and he has continued to build his stake to 2.9 million shares. Forbes says Icahn cut back on his investment in the last quarter of 2006 to 1.9 million, along with his holdings in Time Warner and Cigna Corp. His original shares bought during the summer doubled in value over the following six months, yielding approximately $8 million in profit. Shares of Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) opened today at $19.62, down from the recent high, $21.06.
Speculation as to why Icahn is cutting back on his stake includes the recent guilty plea of ex-CEO Ryan Brant and the company’s stock option blunders. However, none of this news has hurt Take-Two’s stock, which has risen 115 percent since it bottomed in July. Icahn is most likely raking in some profit while the majority of his holdings are reaching new heights. The 55 million shares of Time Warner, which are up 31 percent since August, sold by Icahn is worth over $1 billion when sold at $22 a share, a decent estimate of the point where Icahn sold the stock. Take-Two shares, riding the power of Icahn’s buying and the rise of the entire game sector with the holiday console launches, are likely to drop during the spring and summer drought until Grand Theft Auto IV is released.
Neither Icahn nor his fund has revealed specific reasons for the massive sales.