Icahn Boosts Stake In Nuance, Mulls Takeover

Icahn Boosts Stake In Nuance, Mulls Takeover
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Carl Icahn boosted his stake in Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) after the company reported weak second quarter earnings result on Tuesday, April 30.

Icahn Boosts Stake In Nuance, Mulls Takeover

The activist investor now owns a 10.72 percent stake or 33, 899, 274 shares in the speech-recognition and digital imaging company based on his latest regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The value of his stock-holding in Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) is approximately $645 million as of Tuesday’s closing price at $23.30 per share.

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Icahn initiated a 9.3 percent passive position in Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) early in April. Analysts believed that the activist investor will push to split the company. Prior to disclosing second quarter financial performance, the company cut its earnings and sales expectation.

Sources with direct knowledge of the matter have told ValueWalk that Carl Icahn plans to further boost his stake in the company. The activist has plans to force a takeover of the firm or buy the company outright. A  spokesperson for Icahn did not respond to requests for comment.

Q:NUAN) dropped by more than 18 percent to $19.04 per share after investors were disappointed with its financial results on Tuesday. The company posted $451 million GAAP revenue and -$25.8 million GAAP net loss or $-0.08 net loss per share. The company also announced a $500 million shares repurchase program.

In a statement, Paul Ricci, chairman and chief executive officer of Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) said, “We are disappointed with our results for the second quarter, which were driven by a combination of execution issues and external factors. We have take immediate corrective actions to improve the performance of our business and revised our operating plan, accordingly.”

Ricci added that the company continued to makes advancements during the quarter despite the setback. According to him, Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) had earning design wins, new bookings in new strategic product areas including its automotive business, and Nina Mobile solutions for customer care.

Furthermore, Ricci said, “Our share buyback program announced today underscores our confidence in the business and our focus on shareholders’ value as we expect growth to accelerate in fiscal 2014.”

The company previously announced that its automotive voice technologies will be integrated with the new line of Si-Rui branded vehicles of BYD, one of the leading domestic car manufacturers in China.

Last week, the management of Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) sought the advice of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) after Icahn acquired a stake in the company. The bank is one of the go-to firms in Wall Street when corporations are under pressure from activist investors like Icahn. Sources did not indicate whether this action was tied to Icahn’s future plans.

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