Published On: Sat, Nov 15th, 2014

Icahn ups stake in eBay to nearly 46 million shares, sells more Netflix

Carl Icahn gives an interview on FOX Business Network's Neil Cavuto show in New York


Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn increased his stake in e-commerce company eBay Inc. while booking more profits from his stake in Netflix Inc. in the third quarter, a regulatory filing showed on Friday.

Icahn increased his stake in eBay by 15 million shares to a total of 45.8 million shares as of the end of September, up from 31 million at the end of June. He cut his stake in Netflix, the streaming video company, by 353, 000 shares to 1.4 million shares, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed.

Icahn’s eBay stake, which represents about 3.7 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, would be worth about $2.5 billion as of Friday’s closing stock price of $54.36.

EBay agreed in late September to spin off its PayPal business next year. EBay Chief Executive John Donahoe had resisted Icahn’s calls for a PayPal split earlier this year and led a months-long campaign to convince investors that the company should remain intact.

Icahn’s cut to his Netflix stake proved prescient. The company’s shares plunged 25 percent to $333.53 in after-hours trading on Oct. 15 after Netflix reported fewer video streaming subscribers than forecast in the third quarter.

Icahn, who reported a 10 percent stake in Netflix in October 2012, has periodically cashed in on that winning bet, in which his firm acquired Netflix shares for an average price of $58. He sold 3 million shares in October 2013 to book between $700 million and $800 million in profits.

Netflix shares closed up 1.7 percent at $386.04 on Friday.

Icahn, who reported a 6.6 percent stake in media company Gannett Co. on Aug. 14 and an 8.48 percent stake in Hertz Global Holdings Inc. on Sept. 9, kept those stakes unchanged through the end of September.

His stakes in Apple Inc. and Herbalife, were unchanged from the previous quarter. Icahn is Herbalife’s top shareholder with an 18.52 percent stake.

Icahn, who takes large stakes in companies and pushes for management change, was not immediately available for comment.

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