It is incredibly hard to find a description of
without seeing the words activist, raider, takeover, and of
course, billionaire, attached to his name. The aggressive
investing Guru has built a legendary reputation disturbing the
peace in the management of ailing companies, challenging
corporate executives about the way they run businesses and
writing ultra-public letters of criticism, all laced together
with good intentions.
As the ultimate contrarian, the Icahn approach doesn't quite fall
completely in line with the methods of the investing messiah
, which often has people underestimating Icahn, explaining why
investors do not piggy-back on his moves as fast as they do
Buffett's. But one part about this tidbit that Icahn does surely
enjoy: proving people wrong.
Getting rid of all the fluff, the degrading public letters, the
circus egged on by the media, and all the enemies made along the
way, Icahn is but a shareholder's right-hand man, who buys stakes
in underperforming companies and suggests strategies to boost a
company's value. He is a value investor at its best.
Out of all the investors GuruFocus reports on, Icahn is surely
one that never falls short in excitement.
Out of Icahn's 16-stock portfolio, valued over $11 billion, there
were two stocks that
as Icahn's stocks with the highest average 10-year EBITDA growth
Forest Laboratories Inc. (
Pharmaceutical company, Forest Laboratories has a 10-Year EBITDA
growth rate of 9.5 percent. Its annual EBITDA growth is 7.39
Icahn's 11.53 percent stake in Forest Laboratories and his seat
in the company's board was a victory well worth it, since it took
a lot of vicious teeth-pulling to get the company's board to
budge. For several months, Icahn did what he did best, push and
push to try to overthrow CEO Howard Solomon from his 35-year rein
in the company, through a proxy contest.
"I find it ironic that I would have to debate publicly with a man
of your age and financial sophistication the need to consider
issues of asset diversification and estate planning," Solomon
said in a lengthy letter to Icahn, addressing the Guru's
disparaging claims about Forest Laboratories.
But when Icahn and Forest Labs reached a compromise in August,
both parties expressed relief in the resulting decisions:
"We are gratified by the strong support of our shareholders
in re-electing nine of our ten directors. The election of only
one of Mr. Icahn's four nominees reflects our shareholders'
continued confidence in Forest's strategy, corporate governance
practices and the strength of our pipeline and portfolio of
products. We would also like to welcome our new director, Pierre
Legault, who will join the Forest Board after the vote has been
certified. We look forward to working with him in a constructive
manner to build value for all Forest shareholders over the long
"I am very pleased with the tremendous support that my
nominee, Pierre Legault, obtained from shareholders in winning a
seat on the Forest Board. Sadly, our proxy system is set up in
such a way that the deck is stacked heavily in favor of incumbent
management in proxy contests. THIS IS TRUE PARTICULARLY AT
FOREST, where a few shareholders with upwards of 25% of the
outstanding shares seem to vote in favor of management no matter
how bad the company is performing and how bad its corporate
governance is. That is why today's victory is not only
surprising, but I hope and believe that the shareholder message
sent will be the first step in bringing good corporate governance
to this great company - something that has been lacking for
In the beginning of the week, Forest released its latest
quarterly earnings. It reported that its net sales decreased for
the quarter by 41.6 percent for its third quarter 2013, and its
revenue decreased 34.7 percent in its nine months ending Dec. 31.
The decreases in sales, as Solomon noted, were mostly incurred
due to the expiration of the patents for one of its products,
Lexapro, as well as its declining sales in the latest two
quarters. For 2013, the company anticipates that the release of
several new products and business development transactions would
anchor revenue growth for Forest.
Forest is an international pharmaceutical manufacturer and
marketer. Its stock is down 2.11 percent and is trading at
View Forest Laboratories'
Hain Celestial Group Inc. (
Natural and organic products company, Hain Celestial has a 5.5
percent 10-Year EBITDA growth rate. Its annual EBITDA growth rate
is 5.81 percent.
For Hain, 2010 was the year that Icahn was seen making
concentrated bets in the company, eventually growing his stake to
its current amount of 15.47 percent.
While Icahn is usually on the brink of throwing up verbal fists
with companies he is trying to turnaround, it was different, and
rather peaceful with Hain Celestial, who welcomed Carl's two
nominees for the company's board of directors: his son Brett
Icahn and David Schecter.
"Hain has a strong portfolio of brands that position it well for
a continuing secular shift towards organic and all natural foods
and consumer packaged goods," said Carl. "We look forward to
working with the current board and management toward enhancing
Headquartered in Melville, NY, Hain's organic products can be
found in North America and Europe.
In its latest quarterly report releases in November, Hain turned
in net sales which increased 25.4 percent, a GAAP net income that
increased 56.6 percent, and an operating free cash flow that
increased 23.8 percent in its trailing twelve months that ended
Its revenue growth in the past 10 years has been attractive,
trending positively at an annual rate of 11.71 percent.
Hain's stock is trading at $53.10. Its market value has gone up
by 94.18 percent in the last five years.
View Hain Celestial's 10-Year Financials.
View the full list using GuruFocus All-In-One Screener. View
Icahn's latest trades here. Also view his undervalued stocks, top
growth companies and high yield stocks.
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