Short-seller Hindenburg targets activist investor Carl Icahn

Feared quick vendor Hindenburg Analysis has a brand new goal in its sights, and this time it’s at least one of many position fashions for Gordon Gekko himself.

The agency goes after Carl Icahn, a legendary activist investor who’s been round for many years. Director Oliver Stone borrowed closely from the real-life titan to create his fictional “greed is nice” company raider, immortalized by Michael Douglas within the movie Wall Road.

Hindenburg accused Icahn of luring “common” traders to his exchange-listed funding holding firm, [hotlink]Icahn Enterprises,[/hotlink] with the very best dividend yield of any giant cap inventory presently buying and selling, then utilizing their investments to pay others.

“Icahn has been utilizing cash taken in from new traders to pay out dividends to previous traders,” Hindenburg wrote on Tuesday.

The $2 quarterly payout is equal to roughly 16% of the share value on the time Hindenburg revealed its observe. Icahn Enterprises additionally enjoys an “absurd 218% premium” to the worth of its property, based on Hindenburg. By comparability, shares buying and selling over-the-counter in Invoice Ackman’s Pershing Sq. commerce at a 35% low cost to its reported property.

Because the cashflows Icahn’s firm generates are fully inadequate to afford the generosity of a $2 quarterly payout, based on Hindenburg, it argues the enterprise mannequin is unsustainable, and partially explains why just about no skilled cash managers put money into Icahn Enterprises.

Icahn Enterprises as a substitute supported this dividend coverage by promoting $1.7 billion value of shares over the previous 4 years since 2019, Hindenburg claimed.

“Such ponzi-like financial buildings are sustainable solely to the extent that new cash is keen to danger being the final one ‘holding the bag’,” Hindenburg wrote.

Shares in Icahn Enterprises fell sharply amid the accusations, down 16% on Tuesday.

Fortune reached out repeatedly to Icahn Enterprises for remark however didn’t instantly obtain a reply.

Icahn made a reputation for himself in 1985 with a marketing campaign in opposition to administration at Trans World Airline (TWA), which resulted in him buying the now-defunct provider a yr later in a narrative that mirrored Gekko’s pursuit of fictional Bluestar in Wall Road.

Hindenburg developed a status for sniffing out misbehavior after famously pulling the curtain again on fraud dedicated by Nikola CEO Trevor Milton, who’s presently awaiting sentencing. 

Extra not too long ago Hindenburg accused India’s Gautam Adani of company malfeasance in January. On the time the tycoon was the world’s third richest man behind solely Bernard Arnault and Elon Musk, however his empire and his personal private fortune suffered a extreme blow within the course of.

In a prolonged response, Adani Group known as the allegations baseless and went as far as to assert it an affront to all Indians. “This isn’t merely an unwarranted assault on any particular firm however a calculated assault on India,” it wrote that month.

In March, the quick vendor went after Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and his new fintech firm Block, alleging it was inflating its efficiency.

Block responded by saying it will discover authorized motion in opposition to Hindenburg Analysis for the “factually inaccurate and deceptive report.”

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