Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What We're Reading ~ Analytical Links 11/6/13

Individual investor bullishness hits 6 year high [PragCap]

What to do in this market [Brooklyn Investor]

On a consistent and repeatable investment process [Research Puzzle]

Portfolios With Purpose: Stock picking for a cause [WSJ]

The 20 smartest things Jeff Bezos has ever said [Fool]

The bull case on Valeant Pharmaceuticals [Barrons]

Quick glance at Du Pont [Modern Graham]

A look at QEP Resources and Rick's Cabaret [HF Intelligence]

Springleaf Holdings and the re-emergence of subprime consumer lending [CFA]

Take-Two: A compelling value with 2 asymmetric options [First Adopter]

Disney and Dish wrangle not over broadcast fees, but the future of TV [NYTimes]

Can companies maintain their extraordinarily high margins? [WSJ]

Whitney Tilson's observations from his trip to China [Seeking Alpha]

On China's pollution problem [NYTimes]

Ajit Jain feeds Buffett's hunger [Insider Quarterly]

Why Twitter's IPO is a bigger deal than Facebook's [WSJ]

For new MBA's, tech more appealing than Wall Street [WSJ]

Lee Cooperman Discloses dELiA's Stake

Lee Cooperman has filed a 13G with the SEC disclosing a brand new equity position in dELiA's (DLIA).  Per the filing, he owns 6.93% of the company with 4,761,905 shares.

The filing was made due to portfolio activity on October 24th.  On that day, the company also issued over 20.7 million shares upon automatic conversion of over $21.7 million in principal of the company's secured 7.25% convertible promissory notes.

Just last week, we highlighted how David Gallo's Valinor Management started a DLIA stake as well.

*Update: II Alpha talked to Cooperman about the stake and he said it was for his personal account and he bought it "because a guy I respect recommended it to me.  I have done no original work other than taking my granddaughter shopping in one of their stores as she likes the merchandise."

Lee Cooperman files with the SEC under his own name, but his hedge fund Omega Advisors files its SEC documents under that name as well, so it's interesting to hear this is a personal position.  It's also interesting to hear that he simply bought this stock on a tip with hardly any research.

Per Google Finance, dELiA's is "a retail company comprised of two lifestyle brands primarily targeting teenage girls and young women. The Company generates revenue by selling predominantly to teenage consumers through direct mail catalogs, Websites and retail stores. It operates in dELiA*s brand. Through its e-commerce Webpages, catalogs and retail stores, dELiA*s (the brand) offers a variety of product categories to teenage girls to cater to an entire lifestyle. Through its catalogs and the e-commerce Webpages, it sells many name brand products along with its own brand products in key teenage spending categories. These products include apparel and accessories. Its mall-based dELiA*s specialty retail stores derive revenue primarily from the sale of apparel and accessories and, to a lesser extent, branded apparel to teenage girls. It operates in two segments: direct marketing and retail stores."

For more on Omega Advisors, head to Cooperman's 4 long ideas at the Invest For Kids Chicago conference.

Bill Ackman's Talk on Investing at Oxford

Bill Ackman of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management recently sat down as part of Saïd Business School & the University of Oxford's distinguished speaker series.  Ackman talks about investing, how he got started in the hedge fund business, activism, and other finance topics.

For more on Ackman, we've also posted up Pershing Square's Q3 letter and some recent Pershing Square portfolio activity.

Embedded below is the video of Ackman's talk:

H/T to ValueWalk for the find

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hedge Fund Investment Conferences in 2013: Links to All Our Notes

The 2013 investment conference season has been a whirlwind with a ton of conferences recently.  To make sure you didn't miss anything, we're aggregating all our notes in one place so you can easily find this year's stock picks from top hedge fund managers.  Click each link below to go to the separate notes.

Sohn London Conference Notes 2013:  Chris Hohn, Nikolai Tangen, John Armitage, Mala Gaonkar, Julian Sinclair, Eashwar Krishnan, Ross Turner, Mas Siddiqui, Bruno Rocha, Andrew Weiss.

Invest For Kids Chicago Notes 2013: Marc Lasry, Steve Eisman, Lee Cooperman, Nelson Peltz, Dinakar Singh, Sam Zell, Jeff Gundlach, Mark Kingdon, Steve Kuhn, Rick Rieder, Stephen White, Peter Zaldivar

Great Investors' Best Ideas Dallas Notes 2013: Michael Price, Chuck Akre, T. Boone Pickens, Karen Finerman, Tom Russo, Caroline Cooley, Tom Gayner   

Excellence in Investing: San Francisco Notes 2013:  John Burbank, Kurt Billick, Mick McGuire, Mason Morfit, Christopher James, David Herro, Malcolm Fairbairn, Christopher Lord, Brian Zied, Carl Kawaja, Michael Moe, Christopher Balding

Alpha Hedge West Conference Notes 2013: Kyle Bass, John Burbank, Bruce Richards, Kurt Billick, Peter Lupoff, Worth Gibson, Paul Twitchell, Jason Huemer, Philip Weingord, Emanuel Friedman, Andrew Springer, Ronnie Jaber, Michael Schmanske, Christopher Cole, Zem Sternberg, Joe Reynoso

Value Investing Congress New York Notes 2013:  Jeff Ubben, Jeff Smith, Mick McGuire, Winklevoss Twins, Don Yacktman, Alex Roepers, Guy Gottfried, Michael Castor, John Mirshekari, Chris Mittleman, Clifton Robbins, Mark Boyar, Joe Altman, Chris Kyriopoulos, Harvey Sawikin, Rahual Saraogi, Charles de Valux, Whitney Tilson, Daniel Miller, Evan Vanderveer, David Shapiro, Charl Chen, Tom Lu, Chris Mayer

London Value Investor Conference Notes 2013:  Howard Marks, Michael Price, James Montier, Gary Harding, Anthony Bolton, Gary Channon, Richard Oldfield, Simon Denison-Smith, Ian Lance, Nick Purves, Jeremy Hosking, Richard Titherington

Virginia Investment Symposium Notes 2013: Julian Robertson, Paul Tudor Jones, John Griffin

Sohn New York Conference Notes 2013: Stan Druckenmiller, David Einhorn, Steve Eisman, Paul Singer, Jim Chanos, Kyle Bass, Bill Ackman, Jeff Gundlach, Jonathon Jacobson, Mitch Julis, Keith Meister, David Stemerman, Li Lu, Clifton Robbins, Tor Olav Troim, Simeon McMillan

Value Investing Congress Las Vegas Notes 2013: Steve Romick, Phil Goldstein, John Hempton, David Nierenberg, Tim Eriksen, Marcelo Lima, Geoffrey Batt, Zack Buckley, Isaac Schwartz, Amitabh Singhi, Chan Lee, Albert Yong, Jeff Pintar, Chris Mayer, Whitney Tilson, Guy Gottfried, Mark Boyar, Vitaliy Katsenelson, Zeke Ashton, Joe Altman, Chris Kyriopoulos, David Hurwitz, Chris Mittleman, Ori Eyal, Harris Kupperman

Monday, November 4, 2013

Perry Capital Trims North American Energy Partners Position

Richard Perry's hedge fund firm Perry Capital has filed an amended 13D with the SEC regarding its stake in North American Energy Partners (NOA).  They've disclosed a 9.71% ownership stake in NOA with 3,526,968 shares.

This is a decrease of 23% in their position size since the end of the second quarter as they sold over 1 million shares. 

The filing details that Perry sold a bulk of shares on October 31st at $6.00 per share, with some other sporadic sales in late October as well.

Per Google Finance, North American Energy Partners "provides a range of heavy construction and mining and pipeline installation services to customers in the Canadian oil sands, industrial construction, commercial and public construction and pipeline construction markets. The Company’s primary market is the Canadian oil sands, where it supports the customers’ mining operations and capital projects. NAEPI provides services through all stages of an oil sands project’s lifecycle, its core focus is on providing recurring services, such as contract mining, during the operational phase."

You can view Perry Capital's other recent portfolio activity here.

Baupost Group Increases Idenix Pharmaceuticals Stake

Seth Klarman's hedge fund firm Baupost Group has filed a 13D with the SEC regarding shares of Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX).  Per the filing, Baupost has revealed a 27.55% ownership stake with 36,910,868 shares.

This marks an increase of 38% in their position size since the end of the second quarter.   The 13D contains the standard boilerplate that they might engage in discussions with management.

Recent trading activity from Baupost is also outlined in the filing.  Klarman's firm bought the majority of their new shares on November 1st at $3.98, and in early October at prices ranging from $3.56 to $4.85.

This is the second time that Baupost has increased its stake in Idenix this year, as we also highlighted their purchase back in late January.  The main difference now is that Baupost has switched from a passive 13G filing, to a potentially activist 13D filing.

Per Google Finance, Idenix Pharmaceuticals is "a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of drugs for the treatment of human viral diseases with operations in the United States and France."

Soros Fund Boosts Mercury Systems Stake

George Soros' family office Soros Fund Management has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding their stake in Mercury Systems (MRCY).  Per the filing, Soros has revealed a 5.02% ownership stake in MRCY with 1,666,666 shares.

This means their equity stake has increased to the tune of 400,000 shares since the end of the second quarter, or around a 32% boost from their last disclosure.  The latest filing was required due to portfolio activity on October 22nd. 

This has been a longstanding position for Soros as we covered their stake back in 2009, when they owned equity and also convertible notes.

Per Google Finance, Mercury Systems is "formerly Mercury Computer Systems, Inc., designs, manufactures and markets real-time digital signal and images processing sub-systems and software for specialized defense and commercial markets. The Company's solutions are involved in a range of applications, processing and transforming sensor data to information for storage, analysis and interpretation. In military reconnaissance and surveillance platforms, the Company's sub-systems receive, process, and store real-time radar, video, sonar and signals intelligence data. The Company operates in two segments: Advanced Computing Solutions and Mercury Federal Systems."

For more on this firm, head to Soros Fund's recent portfolio activity.