Carl Icahn: I’m Up Half a Billion Dollars On My Herbalife (HLF) Position

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn spoke with FOX Business Network’s Liz Claman about his investments in Herbalife (HLF) and Dell Inc. (DELL). Icahn said he has made $500 million on Herbalife and that, “I believe Herbalife is going a lot higher. It’s got great potential…I am not looking to sell the stock at this point at all.” Icahn also discussed why he increased his stake in Dell, saying the company is “undervalued,” but that he is done buying shares for now  because he’s “pretty much at the ceiling.” He went on to say that when he identifies another hot stock he is “going to put it on Twitter first.” Excerpts from the interview can be found below, courtesy of Fox Business Network.

On why he bought more shares of Dell:

“We just think it’s undervalued and we think Michael is buying it on the cheap. We think it’s very cheap. Frankly it’s one of the worst board actions I’ve seen in my many years of doing this…I still think we have a good chance but a lot depends on whether or not we can have a manageable meeting right after the fourth vote on Michael Dell’s offer.”

On whether he is done buying Dell stock:

“For now, yeah. I think it’s a bit inaccurate to say we are not at the ceiling now. I think we are for different reasons. My attorney has calculated it. So I think we are pretty much at the ceiling now.”

On whether CEO Michael Dell would remain part of Dell if Icahn wins his bid:

“No. if we win – it’s not a personal thing – Michael Dell will not be there. I have made a great deal of money replacing CEOs that shouldn’t be there and that’s one of the troubles of America – corporations today. You have a lot of CEOs that boards do not hold accountable that shouldn’t be there. They’re not bad people but it’s like  having a football player that shouldn’t be on the football team anymore. If I don’t get it, I think I’ve done a good job for shareholders because we’ve at least got the price up somewhat, did better than the board. But if we get it I think we will be accomplishing a lot more for those shareholders that wish to remain.”

On why he likes Herbalife:

“As you know, I don’t like Ackman, but I like him now. Anybody who makes me $500 million, I have to like.”

On whether he has made half a billion dollars on Herbalife:

“We’re moving it up every time. That’s about right, but that’s public. I don’t talk about what we make generally, but yes we made $500 million.  I think Herbalife is a great company.”

On what point he breaks hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s back on Herbalife and makes him admit defeat:

“I want to make something clear. I really have said publicly, I don’t like what he did as far as I was concerned, he was one of the few people that I really was upset with. But this is not what I do. I am not looking to break anybody’s back, I just look to make money.”

On what his exit strategy is on Herbalife:

“I believe Herbalife is going a lot higher. It’s got great potential, it makes a great deal of money. I think it does good for people who can’t make a living and I think it has a good product. I think the stock is still extremely undervalued but just look at the numbers. It’s got great potential in foreign countries as well as here, I think in China it just sort of boomed and I think it just sort of started. Look at the numbers – Ackman did that. He got the numbers at a very low PE ratio so I am not looking to sell the stock at this point at all.”

On how people can find out about his next big hot stock pick:

“When we can, we are going to put it on Twitter first.”

On whether he has a position he is looking at right now:

“I have to say we do. We may put something out on it relatively soon. I think we’ll put it on Twitter but obviously all the news people are followers. In any event, I think it’s a good thing I want to try to build a following and then see if we can make some changes to corporate governance one day.”

On whether he would consider a tender offer for Herbalife:

“I can’t comment on that.”

On whether Michael Dell or Bill Ackman is a more formidable opponent:

“I met Michael Dell once I think, I found him to be a personable guy. It’s not a personal thing with him. Ackman I can’t say that about…it’s not vengeance or anything, but so obviously I don’t like Ackman at all personally. Michael Dell, I have nothing against, I am sure he’s not going to invite me to his Christmas party or whatever, but I have nothing against the guy.”

On Ackman asking the SEC to look into market manipulation surrounding billionaire George Soros and Herbalife:

“I think it’s an absurdity. I respect George Soros a great deal. He’s done great things, he has great credibility but I frankly don’t know him well. I’d like to know him better.”

On whether he has ever spoken to Soros about Herbalife:

“No I did not. I am not saying that because perhaps thinking about it I would have liked to talk to him about it, that’s not the issue. The issue is Soros is a great investor, love having him in. I didn’t talk to him but it’s an absurdity to listen to Ackman saying these people are ganging up on me. What the hell has he done? When he has a position, he filled the room with 300 people and bad-mouthed Herbalife over and over again and he still does. It’s almost laughable and now he’s talking about a few hedge fund guys meet and discuss the company. I wasn’t at those meetings, I have to say, I wasn’t invited to go to them. I might have gone, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but the irony is Ackman is saying it.”

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