Carl Icahn Calls The ‘Activist’ Model The Best Investing Method

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Carl Icahn apparently loves Twitter. This time he used the micro-blogging site to call attention to a lengthy statement he made about activist investing in his latest earnings filing dated this morning. Shares of Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP) rose 4% in early morning trading after his earnings release.

Carl Icahn Calls The 'Activist' Model The Best Investing Method

Carl Icahn reports third quarter earnings

For the third quarter, Icahn Enterprises reported $5.7 billion in revenue with net income attributable to IEP of $472 million or $4.10 per LP unit. That’s compared to $4.5 billion in revenue and net income of $84 million or 75 cents per LP unit in the same quarter a year ago.

For this year’s September quarter, adjusted EBITDA attributable to Icahn Enterprises was $716 million while revenue was $4.5 billion, compared to $501 million in the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted EBIT attributable to Icahn Enterprises was $596 million, compared to $380 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Icahn comments on activist investing

A little over half of Carl Icahn’s earnings filing was used to highlight how much he lies “the ‘Activist’ model” of investing. He says he spent “a great deal of time and effort perfecting its use” and that Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP) has been a beneficiary of his efforts. He reports that an investment in the company’s stock made at the beginning of 2000 has increased 1,500%, offering an average annual return of 22% through the end of last month.

He says that since the economic recovery began in 2009, investments in his firm’s stock have brought a total return of 347% or an average annual return of 39% through the end of last month. Carl Icahn also says that he believes “there has never been a better time than today for activist investing, if practiced properly.”

Carl Icahn continues to highlight corporate governance issues

The two main factors he cites are the extremely low interest rates, making acquisitions less expensive and more attractive, and institutional investor awareness about “the prevalence of mediocre top management and non-caring boards at many of America’s companies.” He says this issue must be dealt with if America will be able to put an end to high unemployment and make it possible for its companies to compete in markets around the world.

Icahn’s current and former activist targets

This isn’t the first time Carl Icahn has spoken out in favor of investor activism. In September he explained that it creates accountability and challenged boardroom politics in the U.S. In August he drew a line between his activist activities and those of fellow activist investor Bill Ackman, essentially saying that Ackman’s actions show that something is wrong with Ackman himself rather than with activism as a whole.

Icahn’s most recent activist target is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which he has been pushing to buy back $150 billion worth of its shares as soon as possible. He recently launched a website and published his latest letter in support of a share buyback, emphasizing that low interest rates make now the right time for Apple to do a massive share buyback.

His other big target recently has been Dell, but he lost that battle. There are indications that he may just be warming up with Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) as well right now.

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