Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tybourne Capital Discloses On Deck Capital Stake

Eashwar Krishnan's hedge fund firm Tybourne Capital has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding shares of On Deck Capital (ONDK).  Per the filing, Tybourne now owns % of the company with over 4.25 million shares.

This is a newly disclosed position for the hedge fund.  On Deck IPO'd in late 2014 and has sold-off recently, and it looks like Tybourne took advantage of the drop.  We've previously highlighted that Tiger Global has a stake in On Deck as well.

Prior to founding Tybourne, Krishnan was a Managing Director at Lone Pine Capital.

Per Google Finance, On Deck Capital is "an online platform for small business lending. Enabled by its technology and analytics, the Company aggregates and analyzes data points from dynamic, disparate data sources to assess the creditworthiness of small businesses. Small businesses can apply for a term loan or line of credit on its Website and, using its OnDeck Score, it can make a funding decision immediately and transfer funds the same day."

Starboard Value's Jeff Smith on Activism: Wall Street Week Interview

Starboard Value's Jeffrey Smith recently appeared on Anthony Scaramucci's rebooted version of Wall Street Week.  In his appearance, Smith talks about his career background, how he got into investing, and of course activism.

On his approach, Smith says, 

"We look at businesses as to how they can be run better for the long-term.  We're looking at how companies can earn more money, be more profitable for the long-term. We're looking to make changes to those companies so they can run better.  But we're also willing to ask the shareholders what they think, to provide shareholders with a choice."

We also recently highlighted that Starboard took a stake in Brink's.  He said if you look at their margins, they're half of their main competitor.  So the thesis here is pretty simple as Smith thinks they can improve their margins and work with the company.

Embedded below is Jeffrey Smith's interview on Wall Street Week:

If you missed it, be sure to check out other Wall Street Week episodes like their interview with Carl Icahn, their interview with Jeff Gundlach and with Barry Rosenstein as well.

Vanshap Capital's Q1 Letter: Thesis on Autohellas

Evan Vanderveer and David Shapiro's investment firm Vanshap Capital is out with its first quarter letter.  In it, they provide an update on their holdings and introduce their newest investment.

With all the turmoil in Greece, there are bound to be opportunities.  Vanshap has found one via shares of Autohellas SA (GA:OTOEL).  Controlled by one of the wealthiest families in Greece, the company represents Hertz as exclusive franchise partner in various European countries.

Vanshap writes,

"We believe Autohellas is relatively well positioned in the unlikely departure of Greece from the Euro.  The company's debt, provided by a consortium of domestic banks, would likely convert to drachma should such a currency reappear.  On the asset side, we would expect the Hertz business to continue to collect Euros from rental car bookings, while surplus vehicles are likely to be inflation protected and could be liquidated over time.  Lastly, and most importantly over the long-term, we suspect that a giant 'FOR SALE' sign on the Greek islands would significantly boost tourism in the country, benefitting rental car operations.  Nonetheless, risks of a further decline in the leasing business or political calamity disrupting tourism in the short-term linger."

Their full thesis on Autohellas is embedded below:

Vanshap Capital's Q1 Letter
*Update: Removed by request

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What We're Reading ~ 5/13/15

An interesting look at investing in and doing business in China [Tim Clissold]

Michael Mauboussin on intuition and making better decisions [Farnam Street]

12 things learned about investing from Julian Robertson [25iq]

China oil imports surpass US [FT]

Debt builds in China stock rally [WSJ]

6 takeaways from the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting [Clear Eyes Investing]

A history of bond market corrections [Wealth of Common Sense]

The billionaire banker ready to bet on oil [Forbes]

On behavioral economics [Economist]

Will Bill Ackman resurrect the ghost of Howard Hughes? [Forbes]

A study on self-driving cars and their impact [Columbia]

The dreaded bundle comes to internet TV [New Yorker]

Venture capital: a profile of Marc Andreessen [New Yorker]

Morgan Creek Capital's Q1 Letter: Learning From Julian Robertson

Mark Yusko is out with Morgan Creek Capital Management's first quarter letter.  In it, he talks about learning from Julian Robertson, the legendary money manager from Tiger Management.

The most notable takeaway here is that Robertson has become bearish.  Yusko walks us through the previous times Robertson has been negative, why he felt that way, and what transpired. 

Yusko has titled his commentary "Not Lyin', The Big Tiger's a Bear, Oh My!"  Since Julian only turns negative at certain times, he feels it prudent to pay attention when this occurs.

This time around, Robertson is concerned that the Fed has essentially inflated asset prices and he believes that once they start tightening, there will be pain in equities.

Embedded below is Morgan Creek's Q1 letter:

You can download a .pdf copy here.

And if you missed it, be sure to view Robertson's recent interview as well.

JANA Partners Exits Ashland Shares

Barry Rosenstein's activist hedge fund JANA Partners has filed an amended 13D with the SEC regarding its position in Ashland (ASH).  Per the filing, JANA no longer owns a stake in the company.

The filing was made due to activity on May 11th, 2015.  JANA previously owned over 5.8 million shares of ASH. 

The 13D notes that, JANA "has disposed of its investment in the Shares of the Issuer through regular portfolio management activities. The Reporting Person is highly supportive of the steps taken by the Issuer’s board and management in recent years, including the simplification of the Issuer’s business structure with the disposal of its Water Technologies business, substantial share repurchases, improved margins, and the addition of a board member with significant industry experience."

For more from this hedge fund, head to Rosenstein's presentation at the recent Sohn conference.

Per Google Finance, "a specialty chemical company that provides products, services and solutions to industries. The Company’s segments are: Ashland Specialty Ingredients offers products, technologies and resources in key markets including personal and home care, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, coatings, construction, energy and other industries; Ashland Water Technologies is a supplier of specialty chemicals and services to the pulp, paper, mining, food and beverage, power generation, refining, chemical processing, general manufacturing and municipal markets."