On May 2, 2023, American holding company, Icahn Enterprises L.P., (NASDAQ: IEP) was the target of a Hindenburg report alleging that the conglomerate has a “Ponzi-like” structure and that shares are inflated by at least 75%.
Following these allegations, Icahn’s stock plummeted by 16% on May 2, 2023 and then another 18% on May 3, 2023, causing significant harm to investors.
Icahn Enterprises Stock Price Plummets following Hindenburg Report alleging a “Ponzi-like” Structure
On May 2, 2023, shares of Icahn Enterprises, the company owned by corporate raider and Wall Street investor Carl Icahn, dropped as much as 20% in intraday trading after Hindenburg published a report alleging the company uses inflated asset values and resembles a “Ponzi-like” structure by using money from new investors to pay out dividends to old investors.
The report claims that company’s 15.8% dividend—the largest dividend yield of any large cap company—is unsustainable, and only possible “because Carl Icahn owns roughly 85% of IEP and has been largely taking dividends in units (instead of cash), reducing the overall cash outlay required to meet the dividend payment for remaining unitholders.”
Icahn has supposedly pledged 60% of his IEP units for margin loans, which is risky, and if the stock continues to plummet, Icahn could be forced to sell more stock to meet the margin calls, which could lead to an even steeper drop in the stock price, as reported by the New York Times.
Hindenburg concludes that Icahn Enterprises has been convincing retail investors that they will be rewarded “with a consistent, safe dividend in perpetuity, despite extensive evidence to the contrary,” and that the Wall Street legend’s mistake of taking on too much leverage amidst sustained losses will likely not end well.
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