Love him or hate him, Carl Icahn is on a roll. As an activist investor, sentiment surrounding the 77 year old self-made billionaire and Icahn Enterprises (NYSE:IEP) founder is often mixed. He is an outspoken critic of anybody he thinks is running a company poorly, and is not afraid to shake people out of board positions.
Icahn recently stole the media spotlight because of Herbalife (NYSE:HLF), a nutrient- and healthcare-supply company that was the centerpiece of a fairly dramatic showdown between him and fellow hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman. Ackman, who manages $11 billion at Pershing Square, publicly disclosed a $1 billion short position in Herbalife in December of 2012. Icahn came out swinging in defense of Herbalife and criticized Ackman for trying to capitalize on the sensationalist nature of his announcement.
That said, 2013 has been kind to Icahn. The story isn’t over yet, but Icahn looks like something of a white knight as far as Herbalife is concerned. He took a 13.6 percent stake in the company and designated two board members, and the stock is up 15.25 percent this year to date.
Bloomberg’s billionaire index shows that Icahn is worth $19 billion dollars, up 14.8 percent this year to date. Between 2004 and 2011, his hedge fund returned an annualized 14 percent, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that the trend will continue…