Friday, July 25, 2014

Greenlight Capital Q2 Letter: Einhorn Reveals Lam Research Stake

David Einhorn's hedge fund Greenlight Capital was up 7.9% net in the second quarter and is up 6.4% for the year.  In their Q2 letter, Greenlight reveals a new position in Lam Research (LRCX).

They see the company as a beneficiary as the process of converting semiconductor designs into chips becomes harder to do.

Greenlight also bought a stake in Mallinckrodt (MNK) but reversed course and sold the stake due to their negative stance on Questcor (QCOR), a company MNK has agreed to purchase.  Greenlight thinks the combined company "is setting itself up to be a very attractive short sale candidate if the merger is completed."  The letter notes that Greenlight was short QCOR.

During the quarter, the hedge fund also sold out of its longs in Aspen Insurance (AHL) and Rite Aid (RAD) at nice gains.

At the end of Q2, Greenlight's largest positions (in alphabetical order) were: Apple (AAPL), gold, Marvell Technology (MRVL), Micron Technology (MU), Resona Holdings (TYO:8308) and SunEdison (SUNE).

Embedded below is Greenlight's Q2 letter with commentary on more of their positions:

What We're Reading ~ Hedge Fund Links 7/25/14

Glenview keeps the gains going [II Alpha]

Tales of the death of hedge funds have been greatly exaggerated [Ritholtz]

JANA takes new position in Apache [ValueWalk]

Hedge funds, Google and the "right to be forgotten" [HF Intelligence]

The big money still loves hedge funds [CNBC]

Elliott pushes EMC to split off VMware [WSJ]

The solution to the Senate's report on hedge funds tax dodging [Forbes]

Citadel Discloses New Stake in Blackhawk Network

Ken Griffin's Citadel has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding shares of Blackhawk Network (HAWK).  Per the filing, Citadel now owns 5.2% of the company with 653,618 shares. 

This is a brand new position for them and the filing was made due to activity on July 22nd.  HAWK completed its spinoff from Safeway (SWY) earlier this year.

You can view more recent portfolio activity from Citadel here.

Per Google Finance, Blackhawk Network is "a prepaid payment network utilizing technology to offer a range of gift cards, other prepaid products and payment services in the United States and 18 other countries. Its product offerings include gift cards, prepaid telecom products and prepaid financial services products (including general purpose reloadable (GPR), cards and its reload network). In addition, it sells physical and electronic gift cards to consumers through both online distributors and its Website, It offers gift cards from consumer brands, such as, Applebee’s, iTunes, Lowe’s, Macy’s and Starbucks and from payment networks, such as American Express, MasterCard and Visa."

Odey Reveals Tungsten Corporation Stake

Crispin Odey's Odey Asset Management has disclosed a new position in London listed Tungsten Corporation (LON: TUNG).  Due to trading on July 21st, Odey hold 5.21% of Tungsten's voting rights.

Other large investors in Tungsten include Wellington Management with 5% and GLG Partners with 3.63%.  Tungsten is a relatively young business which floated on AIM back in October 2013.

Per Google Finance, Tungsten "is the holding company of OB10 Limited and its subsidiaries. The Company together with its subsidiaries is engaged in the provision of electronic invoice delivery (e-invoicing) to suppliers and buyers. OB10 Limited provides services, such as e-invoicing, where suppliers can send electronic invoices to their customers, eliminating the need for paper documentation; purchase order services, where buyers can send purchase orders to their suppliers; invoice status services, where suppliers can establish the approval and payment status of the invoices they have sent to their customers, and payment services, which includes solutions to enable supply chain financing. The Company operates in European Union, America and Asia."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What We're Reading ~ Analytical Links 7/23/14

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works & Shapes Our Lives [Steven Levy]

Importance of ROIC: compounding and reinvestment [Base Hit Investing]

Some thoughts on Twitter [Dan Benton]

LUMA Partners on the future of TV [BusinessInsider]

An old interview with Peter Lynch [PBS]

On the boom in subprime used auto lending [Dealbook]

It's time to split up Microsoft [Stratechery]

Why HBO is such an attractive asset [Quartz]

Sprint planning for lengthy review of T-Mobile deal [Bloomberg]

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

GMO Q2 Letter: Jeremy Grantham Says Bigger M&A Frenzy Coming

Jeremy Grantham is out with GMO's Q2 letter.  In it, Grantham talks about how he sees a frenzy in mergers and acquisitions coming (on top of the already large number we've seen).

He writes,

"If I were a potential deal maker I would be licking my lips at an economy that seems to have enough slack to keep going for a few years.  Also, individuals and institutions did feel chastened by the crash of 2009 and many are just now picking up their courage.  And as they look around they see dismayingly little in the way of attractive investments or yields.  So, the returns promised from deal making are likely to appear, relatively at least, exceptional.  I think it is likely (better than 50/50) that all previous deal records will be broken in the next year or two.  This of course will help push the market up to true bubble levels, where it will once again become very dangerous indeed."

Grantham feels the M&A boom will continue mainly due to low interest rates, but also because the economy has the 'early-cycle look' that could see a few more years of recovery.  Profit margins are higher this time around and there is room for increased capital spending as well.

All of these things combined create the perfect storm for "a veritable explosion, to levels never seen before."

Embedded below is GMO's Q2 letter:

Maverick Capital Starts Countrywide Plc Stake

Lee Ainslie's hedge fund firm Maverick Capital has disclosed a new position in London listed residential estate agent, Countrywide Plc (LON:CWD).  Due to trading on July 14th, Maverick now hold the equivalent of 3.04% of Countrywide's voting rights, all via total return swap.

Countrywide Plc is the UK's largest estate agency group.  In 2007, the company was taken private by Apollo Management.  In March 2013, it was re-listed on the London Stock Exchange.  Currently, the largest shareholder is Howard Marks' Oaktree Capital with 27.59% of the voting rights.

For more on Maverick, check out an in-depth interview with Lee Ainslie here.

Per Google Finance, Countrywide Plc is "an integrated residential estate agency and property services group in the United Kingdom. The Company offers estate agency and lettings services, together with a range of complementary services. The Company operates in five businesses: residential property sales; residential property lettings and property management; arranging mortgages, insurance and related financial products (provided by third parties) for participants in residential property transactions; surveying and valuation services for mortgage lenders and prospective homebuyers, and residential property conveyance services. Countrywide Holdings, Ltd. is the holding company of the Company."

Alpha Hedge West Conference: 10% Discount

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John Burbank, Passport Capital
Ronnie Jaber, Carlyle Group
Kurt Billick, Bocage Capital
Gareth Henry, Fortress Investment Group
John Rohal, Man Group
Christopher Cole, Artemis Capital Management
Brian McQuade, CALPERS Investments
Justin Sheperd, Aurora Investment Management
Rajesh Agarwal, Napier Park Global Capital
Christopher Teets, Red Mountain Capital
Matthew Hepler, Relational Investors
Ken Shubin Stein, Spencer Capital
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