Carl Icahn strikes again, making about $350 million today. Not bad for a day’s work. Icahn owns about 27 million shares of Motorola Mobility and Google kicked off the day by announcing a $40 per share offer of the handset maker. It appears Google is particularly interested in MMI’s patents and will operate the company as a stand-alone subsidiary. There’s about a 5% spread still on the table. I haven’t seen Icahn’s Q2 picks yet, but at the end of Q1 Icahn’s top holdings were Motorola Solutions, Biogen, Clorox, and then MMI.
Berkshire Hathaway’s 13F came out today and showed new stakes in Dollar General and Verisk Analytics. The Dollar General stake isn’t surprising as it’s a cheap stock geared towards a growing segment of today’s population. I hadn’t heard of Verisk Analytics though. Reading their profile I found this and it started making a lot more sense, “We are the largest aggregator and provider of detailed actuarial and underwriting data pertaining to United States, or U.S., property and casualty, or P&C, insurance risks.” It’s a fairly small position, but certainly interesting. Ron Baron and Eric Mindich also own significant stakes in the company.
I get a kick out of insider margin calls and Footnoted.com found another one today. Let me back up. Remember when Aubrey McClendon bought a bunch of Chesapeake Energy stock on margin back in 2008. When shares got crushed, McClendon was forced to liquidate his holdings and effectively became broke. Luckily for McClendon, and unluckily for Chesapeake shareholders, the company bought his map collection and gave him a huge loan and a whole bunch of company shares, so he’s still rich and wasn’t overly affected. I wrote an article last week entitled Margin Calls: 2 Stocks With Forced Insider Sales. This was from tweets that Footnoted.com put out. They found another one today, Sterling Construction, to add to Lincoln Educational Services and BPZ Resources.
Finally, another great portfolio manager to follow is Tiger Management’s Julian Robertson. GuruFocus has a great quote from him, "Our mandate is to find the 200 best companies in the world and invest in them, and find the 200 worst companies in the world and go short on them. If the 200 best don't do better than the 200 worst, you should probably be in another business." In Q2 he bought Teva Pharmaceutical and Concho Resources, among others. He sold out of LyondellBasell and ChinaCache International Holdings.
Disclosure: Long GOOG, BRK.B