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Carl Icahn got whacked by the oil crash

Akin Oyedele
carl icahn

REUTERS/Jeff Zelevansky

The oil crash drove billionaire Carl Icahn's publicly traded company to a loss in the fourth quarter.

Icahn Enterprises, which owns significant stakes in several energy companies, reported a loss of $478 million, or $3.84 a unit, beating estimates on revenues of $3.4 billion.

That's compared with a profit of $222 million in the same period the previous year.

IEP also announced a loss of $355 million on revenues of $4.4 billion in the third quarter because of lower oil prices.

"This year's results were obviously disappointing, with the precipitous decline in oil prices impacting the profitability of many of our segments," Icahn said in a statement. "I believe a great amount of profit in the next few years will be made by those who hold positions in energy companies. However, I also believe that oil prices will continue to decline in the near term."

The companies under IEP's energy segment include Talisman Energy, Chesapeake Energy, and Transocean, shares of which have slumped with most other companies in the sector since June.

The loss could have been worse if not for Apple, which massively beat expectations in its fourth-quarter earnings. In a recent letter to investors, Icahn said he thought the $750 billion company is actually worth more than $1 trillion.

"The performance of our investment in Apple, the largest position in our Investment segment, softened the impact of the decline in oil prices and hopefully will continue to do so (I look forward to wearing the watch in the very near future and possibly driving the car in the more distant future)," Icahn wrote.

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