Icahn and Soros Lose on WebMD
Soros Fund Management also owns 5.6% of the entire company and has been adding shares recently.
WebMD (WBMD) is down over 30% in recent days due to a handful of negative announcements.
First, the CEO of 10 years will be leaving the company. Short-sellers generally view executive departures as a sign of more trouble ahead.
Secondly, the company provided poor guidance of a 5%-8% decline in revenue in 2012. WBMD attributed the drop in revenue to competitive pressures and big pharma patent expirations.
Finally, the company has terminated the process to review a sale of the company. WBMD is no longer on the block and investors were massively disappointed.
The question is whether Icahn or Soros will now aim to take a more activist role in the company?
WebMD certainly boasts a lot of potential. Firstly, it is the second-most popular healthcare site in the world. It is a trusted source of healthcare information for 2.5 million visitors per month. Advertisers pay up for that kind of traffic.
The company only trades for 3x net tangible book value which is far lower than other Internet properties such as LinkedIn (LNKD) or Groupon (GRPN).
The stock most likely has another 25% downside before value investors begin to scoop up shares. Icahn or other activist investors will force a sale of WBMD if the turnaround in 2012 falters.