Investor Carl Icahn has purchased a big stake in Anadarko Petroleum , according to regulatory filings,suggesting the billionaire investor is betting on further consolidation in the oil services sector.
Icahn Management, one of Icahn's investment vehicles, took a stake of about 3.1 million shares in Anadarko, worth about $133.5 million as of March 31, the filing said Tuesday.
Anadarko last year purchased another of Icahn's targets, Kerr-McGee, after an activist campaign by Icahn and hedge fund Jana Partners.
"He usually goes after the value plays," said Calyon Securities analyst Carin Dehne Kiley, who has a "Buy" rating on Anadarko shares. "Investors have been taking a wait and see attitude toward Anadarko, to see how they are going to digest all these acquisitions and divestitures ... Icahn is just coming in ahead of them of here."
Dehne Kiley also said a buyout is always a possibility in the energy sector, noting that Anadarko's Chief Executive James Hackett previously led Ocean Energy through its acquisition by Devon Energy .
Icahn also cut his stake in media group Time Warner after a year-long proxy battle that ended last year, according to regulatory filings. Icahn cut his Time Warner stake to about 12.9 million shares in two investment vehicles as of March 31 from about 25 million shares in the quarter ended Dec. 31, the filing said.
The veteran New York financier also disclosed that he holds 4.6 million shares in oilfield services company Pride International of March 31.
Icahn also held more than 4.1 million shares of Gaithersburg, Maryland-based biotechnology firm MedImmune at the end of March, up from 2.8 million shares at the end of December.
MedImmune agreed to be bought by AstraZeneca after Icahn threatened a proxy campaign.
Icahn also disclosed he bought a 2.6 million share stake in CSX, the transportation company.