(Reuters) Carl Icahn is out of Netflix, which means one of the greatest trades we've seen in a while is over and done with.
"Sold the last of our [Netflix] today," Icahn tweeted. "Believed [Apple] currently represents same opportunity we stated [Netflix] offered several years ago."
Now that all is said and done, it looks as if Icahn made about $2 billion on the trade total.
The billionaire investor first took a 10% stake in the company in 2012 at $58 a share, believing that it was about to be acquired.
It wasn't, but on the urging of his son Brett, and analyst Dan Schechter, Icahn stayed in the trade.
It was a great thing, too. Since Icahn purchased Netflix, the stock has risen 1,000%.
And in selling his entire stake Wednesday, a day after the company announced a seven-way stock split, Icahn made $993 million.
(Google Finance )
Of course, the long-Netflix trade had its ups and downs.
Here's an up. Icahn first cashed in on his bet in October 2013, 14 months after he bought the stock. At that point Netflix was up 457%, and Icahn made between $700 million and $800 million selling around half his stake.
"I want to thank Reed Hastings, Ted Sarandos, and the rest of the Netflix team for a job well done," Icahn said according to Reuters. "And last but not least, I wish to thank Kevin Spacey."
Icahn continued to sell through the fourth quarter of 2013, dumping around half his stake.
His son Brett was not amused. He wanted his father to stay in the trade. That, of course, became the talk of Wall Street for a moment.
Josh Brown, CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management and writer of the Reformed Broker blog, put it this way:
That's the good stuff. There was some bad, though.
You'll recall that last fall Netflix took a nasty tumble after earnings showed subscriber growth rates rising more slowly than analysts expected. The stock fell 27% in after-hours trading, and Icahn took a $200 million hit.
But that's ancient history now, at least to this market. By January, Icahn was telling the world that he wished he had listened to his son about Netflix.
"What I was worried about and conservative about Netflix — and obviously I wished I hadn't been as conservative — was net neutrality, which has seemed to go away," Icahn said in a CNBC interview.
Maybe he'll wish, again, that he hadn't sold in a few months.
But what good would that do?
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