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US’ Biggest Landowner John Malone Loses $680 Million in 24 Hours

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:31 PM
Grant Ferowich
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:31 PM

John C. Malone, the single largest owner of land in the United States, sustained a devastating portfolio hit portfolio Thursday. 

Qurate Retail John C Malone
Qurate’s exercise in cliff-jumping saw shares drop more than 20 percent.

As the largest shareholder of Qurate Retail (NASDAQ:QRTEB), Malone had the most on the line when the company announced paltry fourth-quarter earnings. The company’s fourth quarter earnings were positive, but they didn’t satisfy the analyst’s community’s EPS consensus.

Qurate shares sunk 20.5 percent on the day, dragging the company’s market cap down with it.

Malone controlled 40 percent of all Qurate common stock as of January 31 earlier this year.  When the company shed 20 percent of its value, or $1.7 billion, on Thursday, Malone ate the brunt of that loss. Specifically, he suffered a hit of about $680 million.

Who is  John C. Malone, Anyway? 

The tentacles of this man’s empire stretch far and wide. Malone serves as chairman of Qurate Retail, Inc, which is a subsidiary underneath the umbrella Liberty Global network. He was born Milford, Connecticut and is 77 years old, but he’s mentioned in the press as a below-the-radar billionaire who lives on a ranch in Colorado, hence the “cable cowboy ” nickname. 

Liberty Global was on pace to generate $15.5 billion in revenues last year and is considered  “the world’s largest international TV and broadband company.” Liberty Media, for example, is the largest shareholder in SiriusXM. (acquired Pandora for a cool $3.5 billion last fall .)

His portfolio includes stakes in Discovery Communications  as well as the Atlanta Braves professional baseball club. In 2016, Lionsgate bought Starz for approximately $4.4 billion. Malone controlled  Starz when it was acquired, and he reportedly retains a stake in the merged company.

He owns more than 2.2 million acres of real estate in the U.S. across nine states, and Bloomberg pegs his net worth north of $8 billion in total. His net worth is a whopping 142,464 times greater  than what the median U.S. household makes in a 12 months.

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When he completed the purchase of 1.2 million acres of Maine real estate in 2011, he eclipsed  Ted Turner of CNN fame as the largest private landowner in the United Staes.

The U.S. federal government owns  640 million acres of land, which is good for about 28 percent of the country’s 2.27 billion acres.

Buy the bounce?

After a brutal day for Qurate, a dead-cat bounce looks like it might be a viable trade for some bullish traders out there. Qurate breached its previous 52-week low of $18.04.

With the last trade executing at $18.01, according to TradingView, Qurate shares are now sitting squarely in oversold territory.

John C. Malone Billionaire
Qurate Retail’s RSI declined lower than 30, putting the asset squarely in oversold territory.