The same week Netflix announced a seven-for-one stock split, activist investor Carl Icahn announced that he had sold his entire position in the video streaming company. He earned at least $1.6 billion in profits on his Netflix position, which he kept open for about three years. Some estimates put his profits closer to $2 billion.
Carl Icahn tweets about Netflix, Apple
In addition to reporting that he exited Netflix today, Icahn also said he sees Apple now as he saw Netflix in 2012 when he started loading up on shares:
— Carl Icahn (@Carl_C_Icahn) June 24, 2015
Regulatory filings indicate that Icahn owned about 1.41 million shares of Netflix as of the end of March, which would mean his most recent share sales brought Icahn over $960 million. According to Bloomberg, the activist investor paid about $58 per share for his 10% stake in Netflix in 2012, which would mean he raked in profits of about $700 million in the most recent share sales.
Icahn also unloaded some Netflix shares last year and the year before that, bringing him profits of over $900 million, reports Bloomberg. The activist investor owned more than 5.5 million shares of Netflix at one point. When he sold about half of his stake in 2013, the stock was up by 457%.
Icahn almost missed out on Netflix
When Icahn first bought into Netflix in 2012, he did so thinking the company was about to be acquired, according to Business Insider. Of course the streaming media giant was not bought out, so Icahn nearly sold out of it then. It was a good thing he didn’t though, as since Icahn first bought the stock, shares have climbed a staggering 1,000%, reports Business Insider.
As most of Icahn’s watchers know, his son Brett played a key role in convincing him to keep his Netflix shares. His son strongly disagreed with his move to sell so many shares of Netflix in 2013, but his decision to listen to his son stay in with some shares paid off.
As of this writing, shares of Netflix were down 0.1% to $680.49 per share.