Dan Loeb's Third Point Reduces Equity Exposure For Fifth Straight Month ~ market folly

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dan Loeb's Third Point Reduces Equity Exposure For Fifth Straight Month

Dan Loeb's Third Point Offshore Fund finished -3.5% for September compared to -7% for the S&P 500. Third Point sits at 0.2% year-to-date. The Offshore Fund manages just over $4 billion and has seen annualized returns of 17.6% since 1996.

Third Point Reduces Equity Exposure For Fifth Straight Month

In what has been an ongoing theme, Third Point reduced equity exposure yet again in September. Earlier in the year, we highlighted Loeb's cautious stance as he began to reduce exposure. At the end of September, Third Point was only 15.6% net long equities, compared to 17.7% net long a month prior.

Obviously such positioning has led to Third Point's outperformance. Geographically, Third Point has been net long the Americas and net short the EMEA and Asia regions. Risk management has been the name of the game for the fund this year.

In September, Loeb's largest net long exposure came in the technology sector at 8.9% and energy at 3.4%. Third Point is net short industrials at -1.3% and utilities at -0.5%.

In credit, Third Point is 15.6% net long, down from 18.5% net long in August. They continue to have the largest exposure to asset backed securities and remain short government issues.

Third Point's Top Positions

1. Yahoo! (YHOO)
2. Gold
3. Delphi
4. El Paso (EP)
5. Technicolor (multiple securities owned)

We detailed Loeb's activist investment in Yahoo when he first took the position. He also presented his bull case for YHOO at the Delivering Alpha conference.

Third Point's biggest winners last month were commodity short A, energy short basket, SanDisk (SNDK), auto suppliers short basket, and short B. Obviously they don't name their short positions but it's no surprise that many shorts were their top percentage gainers. The hedge fund's biggest losing positions last month were gold, Mosaic (MOS), Delphi, CVR Energy (CVI), and Yahoo! (YHOO).

Assuming Third Point still owns Mosaic, you have an opportunity to purchase shares at prices lower than the hedge fund. They originally bought MOS at $65 on the Cargill family secondary and then subsequently bought the dip in June (presumably around $60). MOS shares now trade around $49.

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