Icahn Enterprises L.P.’s stock closed at its lowest level since June 8, 2004, on Friday, ahead of the release of third-quarter earnings later this week.
has languished this year after short seller Hindenburg Research published a scathing article about the company, which is the investing arm of billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn.
The Nate Anderson-backed Hindenburg had accused Icahn Enterprises of overstating values and paying a dividend it could not afford. The stock immediately shed billions of dollars in market capitalization, and in August, the company slashed its dividend in half.
A New York Times article published in August highlighted the fallout from the short-seller report on Icahn. “It is very, very embarrassing for Carl because this guy beat him and beat him at his own game,” Mark Stevens, the author of a 1993 book titled “King Icahn: The Biography of a Renegade Capitalist,” told the Times.
“I believe the second quarter partially reflected the impact of short selling on companies we control or invest in, which I attribute to the misleading and self-serving Hindenburg report concerning our company,” Icahn said in a statement at the time.
Hindenburg also revealed that Icahn had borrowed money from his own company, a development that was disclosed in a footnote to financials and that Wall Street had overlooked.
Icahn Enterprises, which is 84% owned by Icahn and his son, Brett, offers exposure to Icahn’s personal portfolio of public and private companies, including petroleum refineries, car-parts makers, food-packaging companies and real estate. Its unit holders are mostly retail investors.
The fund has performed poorly in the past decade. For many years, Icahn has publicly expressed suspicion of the bull market that had raged around him. He shorted the stock market in a big way as a hedge against his long activist positions. Going into 2021, for example, Icahn’s investment fund had a short exposure of 142%, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show.
In more recent interviews, Icahn has conceded that his short position was a mistake and said that he has committed to returning to his core strategy of activism, which he believes has allowed him free up billions of dollars of shareholder value for himself and others.
The company is expecting to report third-quarter per-share earnings of 34 cents before the bell on Friday, according to analysts polled by FactSet, after a loss of 37 cents a year ago.
Revenue is expected to fall to $2.712 billion from $3.334 billion a year ago. The stock was flat early Monday but has lost 66% of its value in the year to date, while the S&P 500
has gained 7%.