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Carl Icahn won't be leaving New York on a high note - these charts show why

4 weeks ago by Jon Marino in Earnings, Investor Profile

Legendary hedge fund investor Carl Icahn has enough in common with President Donald J. Trump that the latter invited the former to work as an adviser - at least, until the hedge fund OG decided to quit

A closer look reveals a few more things the two men have in common. Both revealed plans in 2019 that they would decamp from long-held posts in New York, for warmer climes in Florida. And, both men have seen their standing erode in 2019, too. 

Our first chart tracks job postings at Herbalife, an Icahn investment - they're down 31% this year, and shares in the company have fallen 24% in 2019.

As a recent Forbes piece points out, there is no lone culprit to the year Icahn investment fund - it has notched losses in four of the last six years, as the market has risen. The losses only extended in the third quarter of 2019, when Forbes reported it lost 7.3% of its value, according to SEC filings. Once upon a time, Herbalife ($NYSE:HLF) was a crown jewel in the Icahn portfolio - and moreover, a deal that was a special achievement to Icahn, having publicly humiliated a longtime hedge fund foe at the time - but now, Bill Ackman's portfolio is looking a lot better than Carl's, a long time after their Herbalife beef concluded. 

Our next chart is even worse - and, so is its stock performance. OXY Petroleum has seen shares tumble 35% over the course of 2019; the only good news for Icahn is that he didn't buy in until early May, so he hasn't absorbed all of the losses - just, most of them. But OXY sliced 77% of its job postings this year, a poor data point looking forward.

Last but not least - Hertz's Apple ($NASDAQ:AAPL) Store Average Ratings from consumers, which weren't great to begin with when we started tracking them in 2018, and have gotten worse in the time since, falling to just over 3-out-of-5. Hertz sued the consulting firm responsible for the botched digital re-design, but that's not helping Icahn now, nor when he needed it. Icahn initially put money into Hertz all the way back in 2014 - and at the time, shares were hovering around all-time highs. In the time since, they've plunged 85%, and are also down a little bit over the back half of 2019. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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