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Holly LaFon
Holly LaFon
Articles (10163)  | Author's Website |

Cheniere Energy Drops as Carl Icahn Sells

Activist investor says he remains confident in management

June 29, 2018 | About:

Shares of liquefied natural gas exporter Cheniere Energy Inc. (LNG) have dived 3.6% as of Friday afternoon since billionaire investor Carl Icahn (Trades, Portfolio) reduced his stake in the company Thursday.

Icahn decreased the holding to 23,680,490 shares, or 9.5% of the company, from 32,680,490 shares, or 13.2% of the company. Icahn sold the 9 million shares at an average price around $67, about 9% above his estimated buy price calculated by the average price per quarter.

Icahn is still the company’s largest shareholder, with the stake valued around $1.6 billion. Cheniere had become an outsized position in his portfolio and it was “prudent to reduce the size,” Icahn wrote in a filing. The position, at roughly 9% of the portfolio, was Icahn’s third largest.


“We are one of Cheniere’s biggest supports, and we continue to have confidence in the company’s business model as well as [CEO] Jack Fusco and the rest of his management team,” he said.

Icahn was instrumental in the firing of Cheniere’s founder and former CEO Charif Souki in December 2015 after the stock had plunged around 40% that year.

Cheniere stock has enjoyed a 75% run since the start of 2016 as its revenue skyrocketed. The company reported $2.42 billion in revenue for the first quarter, an 85% increase, on strong pricing and production.


Cheniere is in the midst of an expansion, constructing its fifth of six trains at its Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas terminal. Each of the trains will produce about 4.5 million tons per annum. It is also developing three trains at Corpus Christi, Texas that will also generate 4.5 million tons per annual of liquefied natural gas. Two trains of the project remain under construction, while the company made its final investment decision on the third in May.

With the new project, the company has incurred debt of $25.6 billion as of March 31, an increase from $21.26 billion at the end of 2016 and $16.65 billion in 2015. Cheniere had balance sheet cash as of March 31 of $715 million.


Cheniere shares closed at $65.22 Friday, up 0.56%.

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About the author:

Holly LaFon
I'm a financial journalist with a Master of Science in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University.

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