Carl Icahn has a simple investment philosophy: Buy “underperforming” companies and “make things change,” he told CNBC Tuesday.

“I bought a bunch of energy companies in 2000, merged them together. I bought them for $300 million and sold for $1.5 billion. It’s a great opportunity to control a company like a CVR but CVR has storm clouds ahead” because of the spread between prices for West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude.

“That’s a negative,” he said, but for the long term owning the company would be “ok.”

“We got lucky with this activism. It works in spurts,” he said.

“We are proud of our performance,” Icahn said of his company. “We were up 35 percent” last year. Owning Lions Gate, he added, “would’ve gotten us up to 37 percent.”