Carl Icahn sold Lyft stake ahead of IPO

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Longtime activist investor Carl Icahn sold his stake in Lyft prior to its initial public offering last week, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Icahn’s stake in Lyft amounted to about 2.7 percent of the ride-hailing company, or about $550 million. It’s been nearly four years since the company announced Icahn’s $100 investment in the then-private company. Neither Lyft nor Icahn immediately responded to CNBC’s request for comment.

At the time of the initial investment, Icahn said he believed that increasing urbanization over the next five-to-ten years should continue the company’s revenue growth.

But San Francisco-based company’s first few days as a public company have been far from smooth. Though the stock finished its first session at $78.29, above its IPO price of $72, it was last seen trading at $70.31.

It was worth more than $22 billion when it went public last week, despite the fact that it posted a net loss of nearly $1 billion in 2018.

Tuesday, the first settlement day for Lyft shares, also attractive a lot of attention from short sellers looking to profit from a shortfall in momentum. Short sellers have borrowed $455 million worth of Lyft shares, or 6.61 million shares, according to IHS Markit.

Sell side analysts have also been skeptical.

Meanwhile, sell side analyst Michael Ward of Seaport Global initiated coverage on the company with a sell rating and a 12-month price target of $42. Guggenheim initiated coverage of the stock with a neutral rating, telling clients that “too many big assumptions” are required to “make a case for the stock. “

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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