Is Icahn Moving Away from Netflix (NFLX) to Focus on His Deepwater Play?

January 15, 2013 12:21 PM EST
Shares of Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) are treading water Tuesday on renewed speculation activist investor Carl Icahn may dump his stake in the streaming video provider so he can focus on his latest deepwater drilling play.

Yesterday, the market awoke to news about Mr. Icahn's latest love interest - Transocean (NYSE: RIG). The company disclosed that the rabble rouser has taken a 1.56 percent stake and is seeking approval to potentially acquire voting securities of Transocean in an amount exceeding the $682.1 million Hart-Scott-Rodino threshold, but less than that Act's threshold of 25 percent of the outstanding voting securities.

DealReporter speculates that Icahn could now be moving on. "Icahn has proven he can juggle but given the quick rise in NFLX and the apparent launch of a new project, we're curious whether Icahn might merely be renting his shares in the DVD rental specialist." they said. "Running against that idea is Icahn’s suggestion that NFLX may have strategic value to a larger company and normally such a suggestion comes attached to an ambitious price target. Further, he has been sharply critical of the company’s corporate governance, including its decision to swallow a poison pill."

The website notes that these comments from Icahn came when the stock was much lower and Icahn didn't have RIG on his plate. They ask if these developments have swayed Icahn's view and made NFLX a low priority? February 5th should be circled on the calendar as that's the day the NFLX nomination window opens.

Because Mr. Ichan is a 13D filer on Netflix, if he is selling a meaningful amount of stock he would have to amended his filing in short order.

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