Here are five financial facts on Family Dollar that will help you jump into the opportunistic brain of Carl Icahn:
1. Family Dollar's return on equity has fallen 800 basis points since the fiscal year ended Aug. 27, 2011.
2. Capital expenditures have increased some five times from the fiscal year ended Aug. 29, 2009 as Family Dollar has added in excess of 1,000 stores and remodeled existing locations. Yet, Family Dollar's operating margin peaked in the fiscal year ended Aug. 27, 2011.
Read MoreFamily Dollar adopts poison pill after Icahn stake
3. Family Dollar's operating margin is more than half that of Dollar Tree, and roughly 40 percent of Dollar General.
4. Family Dollar has the worst sales-per-square-foot in the publicly-traded dollar-store industry, despite remodeling stores into new layouts and exterior banners that gleam from the highway.
5. Family Dollar's current real-estate strategy is to not own stores. Since the end of fiscal 2012, Family Dollar has sold 532 stores in leaseback transactions for $694 million in proceeds, or $256.3 million after-tax. These funds have been plowed back into new store openings. Given the execution of Family Dollar's management, Icahn is basically saying that shareholders should not trust the executive team to reinvest proceeds from asset sales due to mounting impairment charges in the present.