Exclusive: Carl Icahn says 'time to be cautious' on U.S. stocks

Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:35pm EDT

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on FOX Business Network's Neil Cavuto show in New York February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on FOX Business Network's Neil Cavuto show in New York February 11, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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(Reuters) - Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said on Thursday that it is time for U.S. stock market investors to tread carefully after the run-up on Wall Street.

"In my mind, it is time to be cautious about the U.S. stock markets," Icahn said in a telephone interview. "While we are having a great year, I am being very selective about the companies I purchase."

U.S. stocks fell on Thursday as concerns about the financial health of Portugal's top listed bank gave investors a reason to cash in recent gains. The S&P 500 fell as much as 1 percent at one point before sharply rebounding, to close down -0.41 percent at 1964.68. [.N]

Icahn has been pressuring discount retailer Family Dollar Stores Inc to sell itself. On Thursday, Family Dollar said its profit fell by a third as it cleared inventory ahead of planned store closures and competition intensified.

Icahn, Family Dollar's largest shareholder with a 9.4 percent stake, wants the company to sell itself to rival Dollar General Corp to help them cope with stiff competition from big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Icahn said: "The leadership, to say the least, is questionable at Family Dollar and it's been that way for many years. Howard (Levine) might be a nice guy but he is far from the right leader for Family Dollar."

Icahn added: "We believe Family Dollar and Dollar General should merge as they would make for perfect partners. It is obvious that Family Dollar, especially in light of its record and the looming competition on the horizon, could use a partner.

"However, unfortunately, the announcement of Dollar General Chief Executive Rick Dreiling's retirement is a setback to an activist player like us that would like to accelerate this process but it doesn't mean it is insurmountable on a long-term basis" with regards to a possible merger between Dollar General and Family Dollar.

(Reporting By Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and David Gregorio)

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Comments (4)
Buddyroe wrote:
Yes good idea” Call It” Dollar Market”

Jul 11, 2014 9:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
OnTheGround wrote:
Money is no substitute for character. I’d be happy to see the chickens come home to roost for Mr. Icahn, for all the companies he has ruined.

Jul 11, 2014 10:29am EDT  --  Report as abuse
njglea wrote:
Right on, OnTheGround. The illustrious Mr. Ichan is busy buying up water rights in America, so he can buy and sell the most important resource of all to further line his pockets. According to the Global Research, “Billionaire T. Boone Pickens owned more water rights than any other individuals in America, with rights over enough of the Ogallala Aquifer to drain approximately 200,000 acre-feet (or 65 billion gallons of water) a year.” A thief of greater magnitude than Bernie Maddow.

Jul 11, 2014 10:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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