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Icahn Enterprises Cuts Dividend In Half, Stock Falls 30%

The stock of Icahn Enterprises (IEP) is down 30% after the holding company of investor Carl Icahn announced that it is cutting its quarterly dividend payment in half to $1 U.S. per share.

The dividend cut comes after a critical report on Icahn Enterprises released in May of this year by notorious short seller Hindenburg Research.

Hindenburg accused Carl Icahn of operating a de facto Ponzi Scheme, using new investor money to pay a dividend set at what it called unsustainable levels.

The previous dividend payment of $2 a share each quarter gave Icahn Enterprises a dividend yield of more than 25%, the highest among stocks listed on the benchmark S&P 500 index.

The high dividend yield had attracted individual retail investors to Icahn Enterprises stock. However, Hindenburg Research claimed the dividend was built on a house of cards.

Until now, Carl Icahn had steadfastly refused to lower the dividend payment to shareholders and accused Hindenburg Research of spreading falsehoods about his company.

The dividend cut comes as Icahn Enterprises reported second-quarter earnings that were worse than expected.

The company announced an earnings per share (EPS) loss of $0.72 U.S., which was much worse than the Wall Street forecast of a $0.25 U.S. profit.

Revenue for the quarter ended June 30 came in at $2.68 billion U.S., which was above consensus estimates of $2.66 billion U.S.

Icahn Enterprises is a holding company that has investments in industries ranging from energy and automotive to real estate and home fashion.

Prior to today’s plunge, Icahn Enterprises stock had fallen 37% on the year to trade at $32.68 U.S. per share.