Carl Icahn has developed a reputation as a legendary value investor and “shareholder activist”.
You would think that someone who is 110% committed to maximizing shareholder value, would in fact want to maximize his own company’s stock price, right? It would only make sense.
The most obvious way to maximize your stock price is to make your company’s “story” easy for investors to understand. And then you get that story in front of as many investors as possible. Information and transparency is what creates market demand.
You would think that a brilliant investor like Carl Icahn would want to attract as many investors to his own stock (NYSE: IEP) as possible, thereby creating an efficient market. The cheapest way for a company to communicate with potential investors, as well as shareholders is to have an informative website which explains the company’s investment story. Investors should have enough information so that can understand the company’s upside potential, as well as the risk factors.
Case in point: I was thinking of buying some IEP. I start to do some research, starting with Carl Icahn’s website for Icahn Enterprises. Totally worthless.
Here is the company profile you find on www.ielp.com:
Icahn Enterprises L.P. (“IE”) (NYSE: IEP), formerly American Real Estate Partners, L.P., is a diversified holding company engaged in a variety of businesses. Our businesses currently include investment management, automotive, metals, real estate and home fashion.
Icahn Enterprises L.P. is a Delaware master limited partnership.
Wow, that tells me alot about the company. Most conglomerates, or holding companies go into great detail on their websites to explain their business to potential investors. Either Carl Icahn does not care about his shareholders, or its a Bernie Madoff-style affectation – “Trust me, you don’t need to know the details. I’ll make you money”. Either way Carl Icahn is costing his shareholders money. Instead of getting into pissing matches with CEO’s and Board’s of deadbeat companies, Carl Icahn would be better off spending a few hours to create an informative website that explains IEP’s investment story.
But, no. Carl Icahn is too busy trying to establish himself as the “shareholders champion” with his Icahn Report blog to actually practice what he preaches.
Warren Buffet’s website is kind of goofy. But there is enough information there, that you can actually get a handle on the business. Better yet, I like the fact that Warren Buffet is shrewd enough to take the opportunity to personally pitch you on buying Geico insurance, and jewelry from Borsheim’s.