Well, there's a first time for everything. We were just randomly perusing through some of the latest 13F forms filed with the SEC and we came across one that was very peculiar because it actually disclosed some (all?) of the firm's short positions. This is the first time we've ever seen this so we wanted to share.
As you're aware from our hedge fund portfolio tracking series and our preface on 13F filings, investment firms are required to disclose their long positions in US equities, stock options, or notes/convertibles. That's it. They are not required to disclose their cash, shorts, or positions in other markets such as currencies and commodities. We've been lucky that some managers have revealed short positions in their investor letters, but that's about it. Unless they volunteer this information, we typically can't see it. That is, until you find a firm who discloses it to the SEC for no reason.
Behold Exhibit A: Intrepid Capital Management, an investment firm in Florida that mainly manages separate accounts. They've disclosed two short positions in their latest 13F filed with the SEC. As you can see from the picture below, the top two positions of Jacksonville Bancorp and Web Com Group are listed as "com" positions in the second column, referring to common stock. The bottom two companies, Energy Conversion Devices and Arbitron, are listed as 'ss'. This is the first time we've seen this annotation and presume it stands for 'short sale'.
The fourth column is the 'value' column, detailing how much each position is worth. As you can see, their stake in Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) is worth $-246,645 and their stake in Arbitron (ARB) is worth $-639,840. The fifth column then shows how many shares the firm owns in each company. The share count for the first two companies is positive (i.e. long) and the share count for the bottom two is negative (i.e. short).
Here's a picture:
(click to enlarge)
Wild, huh? We just took a small screenshot, but you can view their entire 13F filing here. Intrepid Capital Management clearly isn't afraid to disclose its short positions and is living up to its name. After all, 'intrepid' means fearless. Maybe they're proud of their accomplishment? After all, shares of ENER have been hitting new 52-week lows repeatedly. Shares of ARB, on the other hand, are currently trading much higher than any level the firm could have shorted at in the first quarter. Either way, we applaud their extensive (non-required) transparency and hold out hope that other firms will follow suit for no reason.
As always, for the latest investment moves from some of the most prominent managers out there, check back daily for our hedge fund portfolio tracking series. And if you want to learn more about hedge fund filings and SEC disclosures, head to our preface on 13F filings.