Net­flix falls af­ter Ic­ahn sells stake

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - By James F. Peltz james.peltz@latimes.com

Netf lix Inc.’ s highf ly­ing stock pulled back 2.1% on Thurs­day af­ter bil­lion­aire in­vestor Carl Ic­ahn re­vealed that he had sold his re­main­ing shares in the videostream­ing com­pany.

The shares dropped $ 14.37 to $ 664.24, although a late rally helped Netf lix trim its losses. The stock traded as low as $ 654.21 dur­ing the ses­sion.

Ic­ahn, the 79- year- old ac­tivist in­vestor, said Wed­nes­day on Twit­ter that he had sold the last of his Net­flix hold­ings that he be­gan amass­ing three years ago.

The over­all in­vest­ment earned him a profit of more than $ 2 bil­lion as Net­flix’s stock soared more than 12- fold in that pe­riod. The stock is up 94% this year alone de­spite Thurs­day’s drop.

Ic­ahn’s dis­clo­sure that he cashed out came as Los Gatos, Calif.- based Net­flix was trad­ing near a high of $ 706 a share Wed­nes­day, so the stock has now lost 6% since Ic­ahn made his move public.

Ic­ahn later told CNBC that he sold Netf lix partly be­cause he’s con­cerned the stock mar­ket is “over­heated.” But, he said, “Net­flix is still a great com­pany.”

He also said Netf lix was not the bar­gain it was when Ic­ahn be­gan in­vest­ing at $ 58 a share in 2012.

Netf lix on Tues­day an­nounced a seven- for- one stock split, and the stock is sched­uled to be­gin trad­ing on a post- split ba­sis July 15.

Ic­ahn said he hopes that his in­vest­ment in Ap­ple Inc., a stake worth about $ 6.7 bil­lion, pays off as well as Net­flix. “I think Ap­ple is where Net­flix was a cou­ple of years ago,” he said.

Ap­ple shares slipped 61 cents to $ 127.50 on Thurs­day.

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