Short sellers target iconic corporate hunter, share price drops 20%.
Shares of “Icahn Enterprises LP” (IEP), led by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, have plunged more than 20%.
That’s after the company slashed its shareholder distribution, seemingly backing up a report by short-selling firm Hindenburg Research that accused it of “asset inflation.
On the Nasdaq market on Thursday, IEP closed at $24.50 per share, a 23.2% plunge from the previous session.
The company’s announcement that it was cutting its quarterly dividend to $1 per share from $2 per share was a major vote of no confidence in the company’s financial situation, and the stock plunged more than 30% at the open.
At one point in the morning, the intraday drop extended to 37%.
Earlier, US short-selling firm Hindenburg pointed out in a May report that IEP was overvaluing its assets and relying on a “Ponzi-like” structure to pay dividends.
The report pointed out that IEP was taking money from new investors and paying it out as dividends to existing investors, which raised investors’ suspicions when IEP actually drastically reduced its dividend.
Hindenburg, which was founded in 2017, is an “activist short selling” firm that scours companies it invests in and then drives down their share prices by exposing mismanagement and allegations of corruption; electric truck maker Nicola, India’s Adani Group, and others have been hit hard by the firm’s reports.
IEP’s stock has had a rough go of it in recent months, with shares plummeting after the Hindenburg report was released in May and then recovering some of the losses since June.
IEP’s second-quarter earnings report was a major contributor to the stock’s plunge.
In an earnings call this morning, IEP reported a net loss of $269 million in the second quarter, more than doubling the net loss of $128 million in the same period last year.
“The deterioration in our second quarter results reflected the impact of short selling on the companies we invest in, which we attribute to the misleading and self-serving Hindenburg report,” Icahn said in the earnings release.
Florida-based IEP invests in energy, automotive, food packaging, 먹튀검증토토사이트 and real estate, among other sectors, and Icahn is a controlling shareholder with an 85% stake in the company.
Aiken is one of the pioneers of activist investing and is widely known as a “corporate hunter.