Friday, September 9, 2016

ValueAct Capital Builds Seagate Stake, Sells More MSCI

Per a Seagate Technology (STX) press release, Jeff Ubben's ValueAct Capital has become one of the company's largest shareholders.  They now own 9.5 million STX shares, up from the 3 million shares they owned at the end of the second quarter.

ValueAct participated in a secondary transaction and has also been invited to join as an observer on Seagate's board.

Partner Mason Morfit said that, "Seagate has a strong storage technology portfolio and is well positioned to benefit from attractive long-term secular trends.  We are excited about the opportunity to work with the Seagate team, at both the Board and management level, to help increase long-term value for all shareholders."

The brand new issue of our Hedge Fund Wisdom newsletter recently analyzed Seagate's main competitor, Western Digital.

Per Google Finance, Seagate is "a provider of electronic data storage technology and solutions. The Company's principal products are hard disk drives (HDDs). In addition to HDDs, it produces a range of electronic data storage products, including solid state hybrid drives, solid state drives, peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) cards and serial advanced technology architecture (SATA) controllers. Its storage technology portfolio also includes storage subsystems and high performance computing solutions. Its products are designed for applications in enterprise servers and storage systems, client compute applications and client non-compute applications. It designs, fabricates and assembles various components found in its disk drives, including read/write heads and recording media. Its design and manufacturing operations are based on technology platforms that are used to produce various disk drive products that serve multiple data storage applications and markets."

ValueAct Sells More MSCI

Also, per a Form 4 filed with the SEC,  ValueAct has sold some more shares of MSCI (MSCI).  They sold 450,000 shares in total on September 6th-8th at prices of $88.4, $88.5, and $87.6.

After these transactions, Jeff Ubben's firm now only owns 850,900 shares of MSCI.

Per Google Finance, MSCI "offers content, applications and services to support the needs of institutional investors throughout their investment processes. The Company's operating segment includes Index, Analytics and All Other segment. All Other segment comprises ESG and Real Estate segments. The Index operating segment is a provider of investment decision support tools, including equity indexes and equity index benchmarks. The Analytics operating segment consists of products and services used for portfolio construction, risk management and reporting. The ESG operating segment offers products institutional investors use for assessing risks and opportunities arising from environmental, social and governance issues. ESG tools are used to evaluate both individual securities and investment portfolios. The Real Estate operating segment is a provider of real estate performance analysis for funds, investors, managers, lenders and occupiers."

Hedge Fund Links ~ 9/9/16

Survivorship bias explained [A Wealth of Common Sense]

The hedge fund trader who beat the feds [Fortune]

David Tepper is 'on guard' [CNBC]

Hedge funds suffer biggest redemptions since 2009 [Bloomberg]

Tiny satellites: the latest innovation hf's are using to get a leg up [WSJ]

The hedge fund industry is shrinking [TIME]

Smaller reigns supreme in hedge funds [NYPost]

Brevan Howard & Tudor battle losses [WSJ]

How this hedge fund robot outsmarted its human master [Bloomberg]

The hedge fund industry has a problem [Business Insider]

Hedge fund managers are waiting for the world to change [Yahoo Finance]

Lessons from a trading great: Bruce Kovner [Deflation.Market]

Paulson & Co exec to launch own firm [Reuters]

Warren Buffett Continues Buying Phillips 66

As we've detailed previously, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has been continuously buying Phillips 66 (PSX) shares.  They've filed yet another Form 4 with the SEC indicating they've purchased even more PSX.

The latest filing shows Berkshire purchased 82,361 shares at a weighted average price of $77.8617 on September 1st.

After this round of buying, Berkshire now owns over 79.65 million shares of PSX.

Per Google Finance, Phillips 66 is "an energy manufacturing and logistics company with midstream, chemicals, refining and marketing, and specialties businesses. The Company operates its business through four segments: Midstream, Chemicals, Refining, and Marketing and Specialties (M&S). The Midstream segment includes its equity investment in DCP Midstream , LLC (DCP Midstream) and its investment in Phillips 66 Partners LP. The Midstream segment consists of three business lines: Transportation, DCP Midstream and NGL. The Midstream segment also transports crude oil and other feedstocks to refineries and other locations, and delivers refined and specialty products to market, and provides storage services for crude oil and petroleum products. The Chemical segment manufactures and markets petrochemicals and plastics. The refining segment buys, sells and refines crude oil and other feedstocks into petroleum products. The M&S segment purchases for resale and markets refined petroleum products."

Thursday, September 8, 2016

What We're Reading ~ 9/8/16

In-depth pitch on Liberty Global Latin America (LILA/K) [Find Me Value]

A second look at Amerco (UHAL) [Punch Card Research]

WD-40 (WDFC): a case study of the bubble in 'safe' stocks [Intrinsic Investing]

Analysis of Dell Technologies new VMWare tracking stock [Clark Street Value]

Morris Mark on four stocks he likes [Barrons]

Uber: from zero to seventy billion [Economist]

Google, Uber and the evolution of transportation [Stratechery]

Why electric cars will be here sooner than you think [WSJ]

How Apple's car could crack the automotive industry [Autocar]

Old article on capital allocator Henry Singleton [BrianLangis]

A look at the online travel industry [Phocuswright]

Why walking helps us think [New Yorker]

Inside Dyson's reinvention factory [Forbes]

Will Amazon kill FedEx and UPS? [Bloomberg]

On subscription retail [The Robin Report]

Theranos: how Elizabeth Holmes's house of cards fell [Vanity Fair]

Pershing Square Builds Chipotle Stake

Bill Ackman's activist firm Pershing Square has filed a 13D with the SEC regarding Chipotle (CMG).  They've disclosed a new position in the company and now own 9.9% of CMG with over 2.88 million shares.

We've highlighted recently how Ackman has been selling various stakes and raising cash and now we know where some of that cash was allocated to.

Chipotle has slowly been trying to recover from a series of food poisonings that severely affected the company's results.  As shares have fallen, some value investors have started to poke around and Ackman has joined the cause as an activist voice.  The 13D notes he'll meet with management.

To build the stake, Pershing bought and sold various options and you can view the full list of transactions here.

While some people have given Ackman grief for the saga with Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX), the quick service restaurant space is something he absolutely has experience with.  It will be interesting to see how he tries to help them recover from their troubles given he feels the company has an excellent brand.

Per Google Finance, Chipotle is "together with its subsidiaries operates Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants. The Company's Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants serve a menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads. The Company operates approximately 1,970 Chipotle restaurants throughout the United States, over 10 in Canada, seven in England, four in France and one in Germany. The Company's restaurants include over 10 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, serving Asian-inspired cuisine. The Company owned and operated approximately three Pizzeria Locale restaurants, a fast casual pizza concept, resulting in a totaling of approximately 2,010 restaurants. The Company sells gift cards which do not have an expiration date.."

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Glenview Capital Boosts Computer Sciences Stake

Larry Robbins' hedge fund firm Glenview Capital has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding its position in Computer Sciences Corp (CSC).  Per the filing, Glenview now owns 5.26% of the company with over 7.38 million shares.

This is an increase over the 6.87 million shares they owned at the end of the second quarter.  The filing was made due to activity on August 23rd.

You can see the rest of Glenview's portfolio in the brand new issue of our newsletter.

Per Google Finance, Computer Sciences Corp is "a global provider of information technology (IT) and professional services and solutions. The Company operates through two segments: Global Business Services (GBS) and Global Infrastructure Services (GIS). The GBS segment provides various technology solutions, including consulting, applications services and software. GBS has three primary growth engines: end-to-end applications services, consulting services, big data services and industry-aligned software and solutions. The GIS segment provides managed and virtual desktop solutions, unified communications and collaboration services, data center management, cyber security, compute and managed storage solutions to commercial clients across the globe. GIS also delivers CSC's various cloud offerings, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), private cloud solutions, CloudMail and Storage as a Service (SaaS). The Company has operations throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia."

Kingstown Capital Sells Some Ocwen Financial Equity, Buys Senior Notes

Michael Blitzer hedge fund firm Kingstown Capital Management has filed an amended 13D with the SEC regarding its position in Ocwen Financial (OCN).  Per the filing, Kingstown now owns 7.66% of the company with 9.5 million shares.

This is a decrease in their common stock position compared to the 11.35 million shares they owned at the end of the second quarter.  The filing was made due to activity on August 31st. 

It also indicates they purchased 6.625% Senior Notes due 2019.

Per Google Finance, Ocwen Financial is "a financial services holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, operates as a mortgage company. The Company's segments include Servicing, Lending, and Corporate Items and Other. The Company's Servicing segment consists of its core residential servicing business. The Company's Lending segment is focused on originating and purchasing conventional and government-insured residential forward and reverse mortgage loans. The Company's Corporate Items and Other segment includes business activities that include providing secured floor plan lending to used car dealerships through its Automotive Capital Services (ACS) venture and providing financing to investors to purchase single-family homes and apartments for lease through its Liberty Rental Finance venture. The Corporate Items and Other segment also includes the diversified fee-based businesses, which provide property valuation, real estate owned (REO) management, title and closing services."

Three Bays Capital Trims Cypress Semiconductor Holdings

Matthew Sidman's hedge fund Three Bays Capital has filed an amended 13D regarding its position in Cypress Semiconductor (CY).  Per the filing, Three Bays owns 7% of the company with 22.53 million shares.  This includes 7 million shares underlying call options.

This is a slight decrease compared to the net position they owned at the end of the second quarter.  The 13D disclosed their most recent transactions where they bought 168,373 shares on July 11th but then sold shares on July 19th and August 30th (500,000 total shares at prices of $11.34 and $11.71).

Prior to founding Three Bays in 2013, Sidman worked at Highfields Capital.

Per Google Finance, Cypress Semiconductor is "delivers solutions from automotive, industrial and networking platforms to interactive consumer and mobile devices. The Company's segments include Programmable Systems Division, Memory Products Division, Data Communications Division and Emerging Technologies Division. The Programmable Solutions Division designs and develops solutions for end-product manufacturers. The Memory Products Division designs and manufactures portfolio of high-performance memories for embedded systems. The Data Communications Division focuses on solutions for industrial, handset and consumer applications. The Emerging Technologies Division consists of its subsidiaries, AgigA Tech, Inc. and Deca Technologies, Inc. Its product portfolio includes NOR flash memories, Traveo microcontrollers, programmable system-on-chip solutions, CapSense capacitive touch-sensing controllers, and Wireless Bluetooth Low-Energy and universal serial bus (USB) connectivity solutions."