Friday, December 20, 2013

What We're Reading ~ Hedge Fund Links 12/20/13

Are commercial mortgages the next big thing for hedge funds? [CNBC]

Hedge funds cut fees to win big investors [FT]

Jim Chanos, bad news bear, urges market prudence [Reuters]

Many hedge funds launching traditional long-only strategies [TheAsset]

Managed accounts take the hassle out of hedge funds [Financial Standard]

Bill Miller to start fund with son under family name [Bloomberg]

Glenview Capital Adds to EVERTEC & Tenet Healthcare Stakes

Larry Robbins' hedge fund Glenview Capital filed a 13G and a Form 4 with the SEC disclosing some of their latest portfolio activity.

Glenview Adds to EVERTEC

Their 13G reveals activity in shares of EVERTEC (EVTC).  Per the filing, Glenview now owns 5.64% of the company with over 4.4 million shares.

This means they've doubled their stake since the end of the third quarter, when they initially built their position.  EVTC IPO'd in Q2 of this year.

Glenview's filing was required due to portfolio activity on December 9th.

Apollo has been the largest institutional shareholder, but one of its affiliates recently announced it would be selling 15.2 million shares in a secondary.  Other hedge funds are involved such as Corvex Management, Marble Arch Investments, and Pine River Capital.

Per Google Finance, EVERTEC is "formerly Carib Latam Holdings, Inc., is a full service transaction processing business in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Company provides a range of merchant acquiring, payment processing and business process management services across 19 countries in the region. It processes over 1.8 billion transactions annually, and manages the electronic payment network for over 4,100 automated teller machines (ATM) and over 104,000 point-of-sale payment terminals. It is the merchant acquirer in the Caribbean and Central America and in Latin America. The Company owns and operates the ATH network, one of ATM and personal identification number debit networks in Latin America. In addition, it provides a suite of services for core bank processing, cash processing and technology outsourcing. It serves a diversified customer base of financial institutions, merchants, corporations and government agencies with technology solutions."

Glenview Buys More Tenet Healthcare

Robbins' fund also filed a Form 4 with the SEC and disclosed purchases in shares of Tenet Healthcare (THC) on December 17th & 18th.  In total, they bought 1 million shares at weighted average prices between $39.30 and $41.20.

After this purchase, they now own 12.9 million shares of THC.  This has been a longstanding (and highly profitable) investment for the hedge fund.

Robbins also recently made a rare media appearance to talk about healthcare and for-profit hospitals.

Marc Lasry Sees Opportunities in Europe: Interview

Yesterday, Avenue Capital's Marc Lasry appeared on CNBC to talk about markets and his latest positioning.

He noted they're still long J.C. Penney bonds and think things will work out as it's essentially a turnaround bet.  We've previously posted Lasry's presentation on JCP bonds.

They see opportunities in Europe due to the deleveraging and are also looking to do direct lending to take advantage.  He said you want to focus on equities in Southern Europe but bonds in Northern Europe.

Embedded below is the video of Marc Lasry's interview:

If you missed it, we also posted up Jamie Dinan's interview as well as Lee Cooperman's interview from the same segment.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Steven Drobny's New House of Money: Interview with Kyle Bass

Steven Drobny, previous author of The Invisible Hands: Hedge Funds Off the Record as well as Inside the House of Money, is coming out with a new book.  His new title, The New House of Money, continues his ongoing series of interviews with top hedge fund managers.

He'll be releasing a new chapter each month and the first chapter features Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital.  We've embedded the chapter below and you can access it at their website:

Be sure to check out Drobny's other great books as well interviewing notable hedge fund managers:

- The Invisible Hands: Hedge Funds Off the Record

- Inside the House of Money

Jamie Dinan Likes Airlines, Hertz & Sprint/T-Mobile: Interview

York Capital's James Dinan appeared on CNBC today and talked about his latest market views.

He said they own most of the major airlines and notes these companies are now being run like businesses and can make money even at $95 oil.

He specifically mentioned American Airlines (AAL) and thinks there's great optionality here as they've merged with US Air and will have a great management team.  While some of these mergers can be rocky at the start, he thinks the value will be realized.  This has been a big hedge fund trade as of late with the likes of David Tepper and Julian Robertson also being involved in many of these names.

Dinan's biggest position is Hertz (HTZ) and he says it's a consolidation play as they'll see cost savings and revenue synergies from the Dollar Thrifty merger as well as fleet rationalization.  A few quarters ago, our Hedge Fund Wisdom newsletter flagged this popular trade and posted a write-up on Avis Budget (CAR), another beneficiary of the consolidation.

York thinks that this environment is great for event-driven investing, especially due to low interest rates.  Dinan also sees earnings going up next year and thinks companies will continue to do buybacks.  He also said he likes Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS).

Here are the videos of Dinan's appearance:

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

Lee Cooperman Likes SunEdison & Sandridge, Sees Market as Fairly Valued

Lee Cooperman, founder of Omega Advisors, appeared on CNBC today to talk about some of his favorite positions and market thoughts.

He continues to feel the market is fairly valued, around 16x earnings.  He pointed out that bull markets end from excesses.  That said, he also notes that investors are "underinvested" in equities, mainly due to fallout from the beatdown they received in 2008 as they've been reticent to get back in stocks.  He thinks the S&P will trade in a range of 1,600 to 2,000.

Some of his favorite picks include SandRidge Energy (SD), Sprint (S), Monitise (MONI.L), Qualicorp.  A new name for them is Sunedison (SUNE), a solar energy play that's spinning off its money-losing semiconductor business.  Cooperman feels it can see $20.  He also thinks SD has the potential to double and points out that TPG-Axon has been involved in this one pushing for change.

Lee Cooperman Video 1:

Lee Cooperman Video 2:

We've highlighted some other portfolio activity from Cooperman here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What We're Reading ~ Analytical Links 12/18/13

Six investment errors you are making right now [Bloomberg]

Barclay's 2014 stock picks in each sector [StreetInsider]

Lakewood Capital on Opko Health: the placebo effect [Seeking Alpha]

Samsung: uneasy in the lead [NYTimes]

Underdog against Amazon, Best Buy charges ahead [NYTimes]

BlackRock 2014 outlook [BlackRock]

Want to invest like Buffett?  Here's how [Marketwatch]

A look at the Anadarko / Tronox situation [Distressed Debt Investing]

8 money managers share their top picks for next year [Bloomberg]

Sell Icahn Enterprises [Barrons]

They hate the Fed [Roger Lowenstein]

How to use the media to sell a company [Buzzfeed]

50 unfortunate truths about investing [Business Insider]

Where to find the biggest ideas for your business [Forbes]

The habits of the world's smartest people [Entrepreneur]

Why a for-profit college set up a man with a fake job (on purpose) [Huffington Post]

A video explaining Bitcoin [AVC]

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New York Times Business Best Sellers List

As 2013 draws to a close, we wanted to check in on and highlight The New York Times list of business best sellers this year.  While many investors focus on investment books (and rightly so), business books can also help you refine your approach in how you think about businesses.  Numbers 2, 5, 8, and 9 in particular will benefit investors.

New York Times Business Best Sellers List

1. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell.  One of the top sellers for quite some time.  "The chief operating officer of Facebook urges women to pursue their careers without ambivalence."

2. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  This has been read by many in the investment community.  "Why some people succeed - it has to do with luck and opportunities as well as talent."

3.  Extortion by Peter Schweizer. "A Hoover Institution fellow argues that politicians shape legislation in order to extract donations." 

4. The Everything Store by Brad Stone. "The story of Jeff Bezos and Amazon." 

5. Focus by Daniel Goleman. "The author of “Emotional Intelligence” relies on research on attention to argue that high achievement requires three kinds of focus." 

6. Hundred Percenters by Mark Murphy. "Challenging employees to perform at their highest level."

7. Do You Speak Shoe Lover? by Linda Meadow and Kelly Cook. "Stories from customers and employees of the shoe retailer DSW."

8. The Caterpillar Way by Craig T. Bouchard and James V. Koch. "A biography of Caterpillar Inc. as a tale of successful business management."

9. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Another widely read book in investment circles.  "The winner of the Nobel in economic science discusses how we make choices in business and personal life." 

10. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. After reading this book, hedge fund legend Julian Robertson decided to sell his Apple shares.  "A biography of the entrepreneur, based on 40 interviews with him conducted over two years."

And if you want more investment-specific reading, head to our recommended reading lists.

Corvex Management & Soroban Capital Go Activist on Williams Companies (WMB)

Keith Meister's activist hedge fund Corvex Management and Eric Mandelblatt's Soroban Capital Partners have entered into an agreement and jointly filed a 13D on shares of Williams Companies (WMB). 

Per the filing, they've disclosed a 5.28% stake in WMB with Corvex owning 13.6 million shares and another 5 million shares underlying call options. Soroban has revealed ownership of 17.4 million shares.

This excludes cash-settled swaps and options which represent an additional 24,213,599 shares.  If these were aggregated together, Corvex and Soroban would have an aggregate economic interest of 8.82% of the company with over 60.3 million shares.

It looks like Corvex was buying call options and selling puts in Late October and throughout November while Soroban was buying shares in late October.

Activist Investment Thesis

The hedge funds have met with management and the Board to discuss the company's operations, finances, strategy and governance.  The filing indicates,

"(Williams) has a strong competitive position in an attractive industry with tremendous growth opportunities but recent operational and financial missteps have prevented the Issuer’s Shares from reflecting full value. The Reporting Persons intend to discuss the following with one or more of the persons referenced above (among other topics): enhancing the structure and value of the Issuer’s investments and assets; evaluating and financing of capital projects; optimizing the Issuer’s capital structure and dividend policy; improving the Issuer’s operational and financial execution; and the potential for participating in strategic combinations given the rapid pace of consolidation in the midstream energy industry."

Meister and Mandelblatt are also looking to join the Board.

See other recent activity from Corvex here.

Joho Capital Discloses (WUBA) Stake

Robert Karr's hedge fund firm Joho Capital has filed a 13G with the SEC and disclosed a new position in (WUBA).  Per the filing, Joho owns 7.7% of the company with 920,000 shares.

The 13G was just filed but indicates the disclosure was made due to activity way back on October 31st.

Joho isn't the only major hedge fund to own WUBA shares, as we previously detailed that John Burbank's Passport Capital owns as well.  Chinese internet companies in general have been a big theme for Burbank and he notes that China is determined not to lose to the US there.

Per Google Finance, "Beijing 58 Information and Technology Co., Ltd. owns and operates an on-line classified advertisement services Web Site under the name The Web Site helps individuals and SMEs to broadcast and search information relating to job opportunities, housing, dating, community events, services, and trading of second hand products. Beijing 58 Information and Technology Co., Ltd. was founded in 2005 and is based in Beijing, China."

You can view other recent portfolio activity from Joho Capital here.

Barington Capital's Presentation on Darden: Perspectives on Value Creation

Below is Barington Capital Group's presentation on shares of Darden (DRI).  Their slideshow, entitled "Perspectives on Value Creation" highlights the company's underperformance and their thoughts on how DRI can create two focused restaurant companies, unlock their real estate asset value, and reduce operating expenses.

Embedded below is the .pdf of the presentation: