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Carl Icahn's last position increase in the last quarter came from shares of
Take-Two Interactive Software(TTWO - Get Report), the video game developer and publisher behind game franchises like Grand Theft Auto and Borderlands. Icahn added 578,000 shares of TTWO to his firm's position in Q2, building his stake in the gaming firm to $74.6 million.
Take Two's status as an independent game developer and publisher gives it a lot of freedom to develop games that make more mainstream firms anxious. The Grand Theft Auto franchise is a perfect example of a title that's hardly politically correct, but proved to be a smash commercial success for TTWO. Operationally, though, TTWO has problems. The firm's earnings are haphazard, with hit-or-miss performance driven by success in a small handful of titles. At the same time, the firm has been slowly building a substantial debt load, tripling its borrowings in the last three years.
While cash has been growing in kind, it makes little sense to hold onto so much balance sheet liquidity when debt service costs start to materially erode already tentative earnings. That being said, the firm has a pipeline of highly touted titles that should help make the coming year an impressive one financially.
Investors looking for a more speculative way to play consumer discretionary numbers could do worse than Take-Two. But they could do better too.
To see all of Carl Icahn's plays -- including a complete list of which stocks he added or sold off -- check out the
Carl Icahn Portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.