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April 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It would now appear that billionaire investor Carl Icahn picked precisely the wrong time to dump his stake in Blockbuster. Less than three weeks ago, Icahn began selling off his shares in huge chunks, reducing his stake from around 17 percent to around 3 percent. At the time those shares were worth about 25 cents each. However, over the past three trading days alone, Blockbuster shares have soared 87 percent in heavy trading. (More than 56 million shares were traded on Monday versus a recent average of fewer than 10 million.) They closed Monday at 56 cents up 124 percent from what Icahn got. Analysts are having a hard time pinpointing the reason for the upsurge. Several are suggesting that it may be related to deals the home video renter has struck with several studios that will allow it to continue to rent movies beginning the same day that they go on sale — unlike rivals Netflix and Redbox, which have agreed to wait four weeks before doing so. Other analysts see the potential for greater revenue from the company’s kiosks, which not only will rent movies to Blockbuster customers on the day they’re released but sell them, too.