Motorola (MOT) yesterday morning said that investor Carl Icahn had nominated himself for a seat on the company’s board. Motorola said Icahn-related entities hold 33,529,000 shares, or about 1.39% of the company’s stock.
Motorola said in the notice that Icahn plans to seek a board seat and “contained no additional information regarding his intentions.” Well, I’d say his intentions are to figure out a way to wring out a profit from Motorola’s beleaguered shares. And I’d also say that Motorola CEO Ed Zander has a new headache this morning.
It’s unlikely Icahn wants to buy Motorola outright; but his needling presence is likely to lead to a new round of speculation on what Motorola ought to do: Sell off pieces? Go private? Restructure? Replace management? Note that some Street analysts have recently taken to musing what the stock might be worth in an LBO.
Icahn has not filed any information on his stake with the SEC; Motorola has filed only the text of its press release.
This certainly seems like good news for Motorola shareholders, who have been watching their positions shrivel in value in recent sessions following a terrible December quarter earnings report, marked by shrinking margins and a growing perception that the company’s mobile phone portfolio is rapidly aging, with demand for the RAZR easing and interest in the KRZR disappointing.
In pre-market trading, Motorola was trading up $1.24, at $19.55.
MOT 1-yr chart