Carl Icahn was speaking at the Delivering Alpha conference today where he was expected to talk about Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) but since Icahn has adopted Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) as his very own, HLF kept trading up today as well. His interview was enjoyed by the masses, Icahn added a lot of witty humor about the companies he dislikes, the hedge fund managers he loves or hates, and commented on his wife’s involvement in his returns. And by the way, Icahn is going to talk about his positions on Twitter now to improve corporate governance, so follow him at @Carl_C_Icahn.
I’ll be an Alpha Agitator at tmrw’s Delivering Alpha Conference. Nowadays there are plenty of corporate boards and CEOs to agitate about.
— Carl Icahn (@Carl_C_Icahn) July 16, 2013
So let the agitating begin!
Dell has the Stupidest Board Ever
Moving onto what he said about Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), down -1% today, Icahn said that he feels good about the upcoming shareholder vote and he also thinks that his chances of winning the proxy fight are great. He berated Dell management again, saying that he has not seen any board as bad as Dell’s. We have heard Icahn say similar worst-board-ever things about other companies so no big deal here. He added that getting rid of Dell’s board would be an asset for the company. There are also reports that Vanguard Group is going to vote against Dell’s LBO so Icahn has reasons to feel good about this. He said that he has a great CEO in mind for Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), adding that he does not buy businesses that are great—he buys those that have potential to be better.
Yet again and much to our pleasure, Icahn took a swing at Chanos. In his words, “In all honesty, I think I have a better record than him.” Chanos who is short Dell and HP, earlier said that Icahn is dreaming if he thinks that the company can do better with the buyout offer. Icahn said that Chanos, being a shortseller, does not see that companies can be turned around by putting the right people in.
Icahn Loves Ackman Now
On the much awaited subject of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), Icahn said that he likes anyone who nets him a quarter of a billion, and the reference was intended for Bill Ackman. Since Icahn initiated a position, HLF has risen substantially, making Icahn richer. The change of heart is of course very disappointing as we are always hoping for another episode of his shouting match to materialize somehow. But our disappointment did not stick long, as Icahn switched to his usual self very soon.
Icahn said that he had not sold a share in his Herbalife position and repeated for the hundredth time that Ackman was stupid to announce his short publicly. Since Ackman could not attend the conference as he was at board meeting for Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (TSE:CP) (NYSE:CP), Icahn said, “If he runs a railroad I wouldn’t ride on it.” Ouch!
Holds Onto Netflix Because of his Son
He also talked about Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), saying that he still has a position in the company. Icahn has netted a huge gain from Netflix and the company is among the few where Icahn backed down from a proxy fight. Netflix’s CEO refused to put Icahn on the company board. He said that he wanted to sell the position but his son threatened to resign if he did.
And Carl Icahn can also do an English accent, if you are into that kind of thing.
Follow Tabinda Hussain @tabihussain