Third Point Buys Mosaic (MOS) & Sara Lee (SLE): Q2 Letter ~ market folly

Monday, July 25, 2011

Third Point Buys Mosaic (MOS) & Sara Lee (SLE): Q2 Letter

Dan Loeb's hedge fund firm Third Point is out with its second quarter letter. Months ago, Loeb said he would no longer be writing the quarterly letters but his displeasure with the government caused him to take to the keyboard again.

Loeb notes that while he is typically a bottom-up investor, the economic and political environment require that investors pay attention to and incorporate macro factors into their thought process.

As we already pointed out last month, the hedge fund reduced equity exposure and the letter confirms this further. Third Point's rationale:

"Beginning in April, we concluded that the equity market no longer offered compelling upside considering the S&P was up ~9% YTD despite the heightening of the issues noted above as well as the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disasters. Towards the end of the quarter, we started to increase our single name short equity portfolio, largely because we saw that the market had started to reward individual stock picking for the first time in months, as correlations finally started to fall."

And even though they reduced net equity exposure, they did do some buying in the quarter:

Mosaic (MOS)

The fertilizer giant intrigued Loeb's fund due to the removal of a large overhang: the Cargill family selling their stake in the company. Third Point acquired their stake via a secondary at $65 per share. They have also subsequently added to their position during the market volatility.

They like grain and corn fundamentals and think potash fertilizer has "yet to recover to trend-line levels of demand."

Sara Lee (SLE)

They already owned this position, but added to their stake in Q2. Third Point believes that the market underestimates the company's earnings power and thinks both of their businesses (meat and coffee) could be attractive to strategic buyers.

Embedded below is Third Point's Q2 letter to investors (email readers come to the site to view it):

For more from Third Point, check out Dan Loeb's recommended reading list.

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