Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Glenview's Larry Robbins on Healthcare, For-Profit Hospital Stocks

At the Robin Hood Investors Conference late last week, Glenview Capital's Larry Robbins also made a rare media appearance on CNBC and talked about the Affordable Care Act, his healthcare investments, and other topics.

He articulated that the key focus on more Americans gaining healthcare is who is getting insurance versus how many.  He feels that people who actively use health services are the ones signing up first, which benefits hospitals (and he thinks managed care will have some issues).

On for-profit hospitals versus not-for-profit: "Regardless of what the competitive environment is, they (for-profit)  have fared better in the past and they will in the future."

On why he wanted Health Management Associates (HMA) to merge with Community Health (CYH):  "Consolidation is important, scale is important."

Touching on general market valuation, he noted that his portfolio is trading at lower multiples since that's what they've focused on.  But if you turn to the overall market, historically with low interest rates, the market trades at a higher multiple until real inflation goes above 4% he says.

Video 1 on the Affordable Care Act & healthcare in general:

Video 2 on for-profit hospitals (HMA, CYH, THC, HCA etc):

Video 3 on market valuation:

David Tepper Says Market Isn't a Bubble: His Thoughts on Valuation, Tapering, Airlines & More

After the Robin Hood Investors Conference last week, Appaloosa Management founder David Tepper sat down with Bloomberg TV to talk about the markets.

On market valuation: He does not think we're in a bubble now as he compared P/E multiples over the last 5 years to the 5-year period running up to the 2000 bubble.  Stocks now have seen little change in multiples, while stocks back then saw huge multiple expansion.

On airlines:  "Our big play versus the market is the airlines.  We're the biggest holder of many of these airlines." We flagged this big bet for readers of our Hedge Fund Wisdom newsletter over a year ago.  See what else Tepper is betting on by subscribing (a brand new issue was just released last week).

On his 2014 investing approach: "We'll probably stay long.  We recently put on a treasury short, to hedge ourselves against the equity markets.  Little bit scared of tapering... higher rates... though rates won't go that high."

On to be worried about: "I would be worried if I was a long/short guy and not long enough, that's what I'd be worried about.  But I'm not worried, because I am long.  But if I'm a L/S guy who can only go 60% long ... the biggest risk for the market is you'll have multiple expansion, higher growth, 10% earnings growth next year, and you'll have another year of 20-30% (performance)."

On J.C. Penney (JCP): "It was a tiny position... a trade and we're done."

On Twitter (TWTR):  They would have held Twitter longer, but they had a price target in the $40's and so when the stock hit that in the first days of trading, he exited.  "It's a discipline."

On Citigroup (C):  "Citi still has some pretty good upside, we think it can make 7 bucks a share."

On his performance this year:  "I think gross we're in the 40's (%)."

On tapering:  He does think it's time to start tapering. He also said: "There can be a short-term negative reaction.  But if you're tapering, it's because there's stronger underlying US growth.  And if there's growth, there's going to be higher P/E multiples and the market should be higher.  If the market goes down, that's great, it'll be one more opportunity that people will be come and buy."

On what a lower Japanese Yen means: "It means higher P/E multiples in Japanese companies, straight out.  That's the way it works, because they're such exporters. So when you have a weaker yen, you have higher earnings."

Embedded below is the video of Tepper's Bloomberg TV appearance:

For more on the Appaloosa manager, head to Tepper's other recent interview where he said he thinks the market could see an 18-20x multiple.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bill Ackman's New Herbalife Presentation From Robin Hood Conference

Pershing Square's founder Bill Ackman again attacked Herbalife (HLF) in his talk at the recent Robin Hood Investors Conference late last week in a presentation entitled "Robin Hood in Reverse."

In it, he highlights an SEC warning investors to beware of pyramid schemes posing as multi-level marketing programs, among other points.

Ackman's new HLF presentation from the Robin Hood event is embedded below in its entirety:

For more on Ackman, head to recent portfolio activity from Pershing Square here.

Corvex Management Sells ADT Shares Back to Company

ADT (ADT) recently announced that it has repurchased shares held by Keith Meister's activist hedge fund Corvex Management.  At the end of the third quarter, ADT was previously Corvex's 2nd largest position, worth over $454 million at the time.

We highlighted how Meister went activist on ADT over a year ago, as he was pushing for balance sheet optionality.  The company has headed in that direction by spending around $1.6 billion to shrink its share count by ~15%. 

It's a bit curious to see Corvex sell its stake so soon after the company has largely followed their lead.  Perhaps the hedge fund saw more compelling opportunities to allocate capital to, or maybe the company no longer wanted to deal with an activist, who knows.  Regardless, Corvex has exited its ADT stake.  ADT shares initially traded down around 8% on this news, before rebounding a bit that day.  However, they're down for a second consecutive day.

Per Google Finance, ADT is "a provider of electronic security, interactive home and business automation, and monitoring services for residences and small businesses in the United States and Canada. The Company’s products and services include ADT Pulse interactive home and business solutions, and home health services. ADT provides business security intrusion detection, which protect the business from burglary, robbery and intruders. Its electronic access control limits unauthorized entry and employee access to the business, as well as complete access. Its video surveillance views events in multiple areas of facility, which has control over loss and oversees business. Effective August 2, 2013, The ADT Corp acquired Devcon Security Services Corp, a provider of security protection services, from Devcon International Corp. In November 2013, Kastle Systems International announced that it had acquired Mutual Central Alarm Services and Stat-Land Security Systems from ADT Corporation."

You can view other recent portfolio activity from Corvex Management here.

Blue Ridge Capital Adds to Avis Budget Group Stake

John Griffin's hedge fund firm Blue Ridge Capital has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding shares of Avis Budget Group (CAR).  Per the filing, Blue Ridge now owns 6.17% of the company with 6,613,700 shares.

This marks a 56% increase in their position size since the end of the third quarter.  The filing was required due to activity on November 13th.

Last week, our premium Hedge Fund Wisdom newsletter drew attention to the fact that Blue Ridge had been increasing its stake in CAR in Q3, and now they've acquired even more shares in Q4.  Additionally, CAR was analyzed in the Q2 issue of our newsletter and new subscribers can access that as well.

Per Google Finance, Avis Budget Group "operates two brands in the global vehicle rental industry through Avis and Budget. Avis is a rental car supplier positioned to serve the commercial and leisure segments of the travel industry and Budget is a rental car supplier focused primarily on more value-conscious segments of the industry. It operates in three segments: North America, consisting of its Avis and Budget car rental operations in the United States and its Avis and Budget vehicle rental operations in Canada; International, consisting of its Avis and Budget vehicle rental operations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, South America, central America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, and Truck Rental, consisting of its Budget truck rental operations in the United States."

12 West Capital Increases Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Holdings

Joel Ramin's hedge fund firm 12 West Capital has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding its position in Aegean Marine Petroleum Network (ANW).  Per the filing, they now own 5.1% of the company with 2,388,713 shares.

This marks an 8% increase in their position size and the filing was required due to activity on November 12th.

Prior to founding 12 West, Ramin worked at Roberto Mignone's Bridger Capital.

Per Google Finance, Aegean Marine Petroleum Network is "an independent physical supplier and marketer of refined marine fuel from refineries, major oil producers and other sources and resell and deliver these fuels using its bunkering vessels to a broad base of end users, including oil tankers, container ships, drybulk carriers, cruise ships, reefers, LNG/LPG carriers, car carriers, ferries, marine fuel traders, brokers and other users. The Company serves Greece, Gibraltar, the United Arab Emirates, or UAE, Jamaica, Singapore, Northern Europe, Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam (ARA), Portland, United Kingdom, West Africa, Vancouver, Montreal, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Las Palmas, Tenerife, Morocco, Cape Verde and Panama"

We've highlighted some other portfolio activity from 12 West Capital here.

Joho Capital Boosts Veeco Instruments Position

Robert Karr's hedge fund firm Joho Capital has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding its position in Veeco Instruments (VECO).  Per the filing, they now own 6.5% of the company with 2,535,933 shares.

This marks a 170% increase in their position size and the filing was required due to activity on November 11th.

Per Google Finance, Veeco Instruments "designs, manufactures and markets equipment to make light emitting diodes (LEDs), hard-disk drives, as well as for emerging applications such as concentrator photovoltaics, power semiconductors, wireless components, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and other next-generation devices. The Company operates in two segments: Light Emitting Diode (LED) and Solar and Data Storage. In the LED & Solar segment, it designs and manufactures metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) systems, molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) systems and components sold to manufacturers of LEDs, wireless devices, power semiconductors, and concentrator photovoltaics, as well as to research and development (R&D) applications. In the Data Storage segment, it designs and manufactures the critical technologies used to create thin film magnetic heads (TFMHs) that read and write data on hard disk drives. In October 2013, the Company acquired Synos Technology, Inc."

Family Office Association

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