Many people have called him a real-life Tony Stark...
Larry Ellison is the third richest man in the United States. He is the owner and CEO of Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), a company that supplies business software to 100 of the Fortune 100 companies, and an avid yachtsman.
I don't know about you, but I want my self-made billionaire CEOs to kick ass and take names...
I don't want lectures from sweater vest-wearing dorks preaching about malaria in Africa, or avuncular chats from frumpy old men who live in the same house they've owned since 1968.
No, I want them to be arrogant, womanizing, hard-core adventurers who know how to make money — and how spend it.
Larry Ellison has been known to date three female employees at the same time. He bought his own island in Hawaii. He played himself in Iron Man 2. And there's a rumor that he bought his neighbor's house in Malibu for twice the going rate ($40 million)... just to cut down some trees that were blocking his view.
That's What I'm Talking About
This week, Larry skipped Oracle's first quarter earnings conference call to see a sailboat race.
In explaining Ellison’s absence to the crowd, Oracle Chairman Jeff Henley noted, “There’s been a great deal of fluidity in our scheduling.”
Forbes wrote it up:
Ellison, whose net worth is nearly $44 billion based on stock price as of Monday, is touted as the main benefactor of the America’s Cup sailing races being held this month in San Francisco. He is the largest backer of the United States’ Team Oracle, which until Tuesday afternoon had been trailing its New Zealand counterparts in a best-of-17 competition.
With two wins today — both of which were apparently watched by Ellison — the series is now tied at eight victories apiece, with the final race schedule for Wednesday.
Buy When He Stops Sailing
The long-held belief among Oracle watchers is that the time to buy the stock is when Ellison stops racing and turns his genius back to his company.
This theory started after Ellison and his boat the Sayonara won the dangerous Sydney to Hobart race in 1998. It was a race that featured near-hurricane winds that sank five other boats and drowned six participants.
You could have bought Oracle that same year under $8, and sold two years later at $45.
More recently, BWM Oracle Racing was the Challenger of Record on behalf of the Golden Gate Yacht Club for the 2007 America's Cup, which was held in Spain.
His team lost in the semi-finals in May of that year.
If you had bought at the lows of 2007 for $16.34, you could have sold in January 2008 for $23.11.
Ellison went racing again in 2010.
On February 14, Ellison's yacht UST 17 won the second race with the CEO on board. This secured a historic victory, and the Cup returned to America for the first time since 1995.
The stock went from $22.83 on February 1, 2010, to $36.50 on May 1, 2011.
Since then, the stock has drifted sideways, as Ellison's attention was diverted to the current America's Cup race.
Right now, the America's Cup race is tied at 8 to 8. The first team to nine wins it.
By the time this goes to press, we will know who won.
It is true that in Oracle stock goes up more after a win than after a loss...
But, like Steve Jobs returning to Apple, we know Oracle stock goes up when the sailing's over and the hull is on the hard.
Since 1995, Christian DeHaemer has specialized in frontier market opportunities. He has traveled extensively and invested in places as varied as Cuba, Mongolia, and Kenya. Chris believes the best way to make money is to get there first with the most. Christian is the founder of Crisis & Opportunity and Managing Director of Wealth Daily. He is also a contributor for Energy & Capital. For more on Christian, see his editor's page.