Clarium Capital, Jana Partners, and Passport Capital Performance Update ~ market folly

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Clarium Capital, Jana Partners, and Passport Capital Performance Update

Well, the numbers just keep rolling in. In a never ending battle with the market, hedge funds continued to slump in the month of October. Firstly, we'll discuss Clarium Capital, the $5.2 billion fund ran by Peter Thiel. We've covered Thiel and his macro fund extensively on the blog before. Thiel had a rough August. But, we noted that Clarium was faring pretty well as of the beginning of October; that is, until they shifted to equities.

The month of October meant pain yet again for Clarium. Year-to-date, the fund is now -3%. They lost nearly 18% in October mainly due to losses in bonds and undoubtedly the equity exposure they added. They had bet that yields would widen, but instead, they contracted. In their most recent investor letter, Clarium was borrowing $3.90 for every $1 in equity they had as of the week of October 24th. Yet, a week later, they increased their leverage and borrowed $4.40 for every $1. After being up 27% for the year a few months prior, they now have come full circle like the rest of the market and are now down for the year. You can check out Clarium's portfolio holdings here and if want more info on Peter Thiel then head here.

Next, turning to Jana Partners, we see that things haven't gotten much easier for them. Just last week, we wrote about how Jana had hit a rough patch. And, it seems that the pain continued through October. Jana's Piranha fund was -19.2% for the month of October and is now -21.7% for the year. This past month really turned things upside-down for that fund. Their Nirvana fund was -13.2% for the month of October and finds itself -21.9% for the year. Lastly, the Jana Partners fund had a much better October than their other funds, being down 6.6%, but its still down 20.4% for the year. Recently, we noted that Jana had taken a 13.52% stake in Convergys (CVG) and a 5.7% stake in Hayes Lemmerz (HAYZ).

Lastly, according to their most recent investor letter, $3 billion Passport Management LLC lost an astounding 38% for the month of October due to commodity stocks and now finds themselves down 44% for the year. The fund was started in 2000 and has a very respectable track record of gaining 27% annually.

You can check out the most recent batch of hedge fund investor letters here and some prior ones here. For more hedge fund performance numbers, check out our last hedge fund performance update.

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