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Icahn trousered $700m from Netflix stock sale?! Er, it would appear so

Billionaire investor makes even more bags of money from canny video bet

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Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has cashed in on Netflix's good fortunes, bagging profits of between $700m and $800m by selling three million shares earlier this month.

Icahn bought shares in the video streaming site just over a year ago for around $58 each and sold some of them yesterday for $341.44 per share, a 457 per cent gain.

Stocks in Netflix were riding particularly high yesterday after it announced that it had quadrupled profits and signed up an extra ten million users in the third quarter compared to the same time last year.

Icahn still holds 4.5 per cent of the 9.4 per cent stake he had in Netflix.

"As a hardened veteran of seven bear markets I have learned that when you are lucky and/or smart enough to have made a total return of 457 per cent in only 14 months it is time to take some of the chips off the table," Icahn said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission announcing the sale.

"I want to thank Reed Hastings, Ted Sarandos and the rest of the Netflix team for a job well done. And last but not least, I wish to thank Kevin Spacey," he joked, referencing Netflix's Emmy-award-winning drama House of Cards.

The TV and movie rental site's growth has been aided in no small part by the firm's investment in original content like House of Cards and its more recent hit Orange is the New Black.

Icahn wasn't the only investor to sniff a profit in the company's recent success. After coming into the market up ten per cent on its quarterly results, Netflix shares dropped 6.62 per cent as stockholders took profits out. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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