Thursday, September 29, 2016

Invest For Kids Chicago 2016: Brosens, Zell, Grant & More

The eighth annual Invest For Kids Chicago conference is coming up soon on October 26th, 2016.  It will feature presentations from elite investment managers in concise 15 minute presentations in order to benefit underprivileged kids in the Chicago area.  You can register for the conference here.

Speakers List: Invest For Kids 2016

- Frank Brosens, Taconic Capital
- Ed Garden, Trian Partners
- Jim Grant, Grant's Interest Rate Observer
- Sam Zell, Equity Group Investments
- Jonathan Gray, Blackstone
- John Lykouretzos, Hoplite Capital
- Matt Halbower, Pentwater Capital
- Michael Sacks, GCM Grosvenor
- Debra Cafaro, Ventas
- Josh Wolfe, Lux Capital
- Leah Joy Zell, Lizard Investors
- William Heard, Heard Capital
- Arthur Kaz, Greenbriar Asset Management

Event Details

When: October 26th, 2016 from 1:30pm to 5:30pm

Where: Chicago, Illinois at the Harris Theater


The 2016 conference's beneficiaries include: College Possible, Urban Initiatives, The People's Music School, The Posse Foundation, North Chicago Community Partners, Perspectives Charter Schools, and Chicago Children's Advocacy Center.

This is always an excellent event so we highly recommend attending, especially if you're in the Midwest. Click here to register for the event.

Hedge Fund Links ~ 9/30/16

Perry Capital closing flagship fund [Bloomberg]

A highly anticipated hedge fund launch that might not actually happen? [ii alpha]

John Thaler considers hedge fund return [Reuters]

Chris Hohn's TCI targets excessive executive pay [FINalternatives]

Steve Eisman assails 'clueless' Silicon Valley over online lending [Chicago Tribune]

The hedge fund fee structure just took another blow [CNBC]

Tom Russo's Q2 letter [Gurufocus]

Carl Icahn Reduces Transocean Stake

Activist investor Carl Icahn has filed an amended 13D with the SEC regarding shares of Transocean (RIG).  Per the filing, Icahn now owns 1.5% of RIG with over 5.47 million shares.

This is way down from the previous 21.47 million shares he owned at the end of the second quarter.  The 13D notes that he was selling on September 23rd and 28th at prices of $9.92 and $9.26.

Icahn has been quite busy drastically reducing his energy exposure.  We highlighted how he also dumped over half of his Chesapeake Energy position recently as well.

Per Google Finance, Transocean is "an international provider of offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells. The Company's primary business is to contract its drilling rigs, related equipment and work crews primarily on a day rate basis to drill oil and gas wells. The Company operates through the contract drilling services segment. The Company specializes in technically demanding regions of the global offshore drilling business with a particular focus on deepwater and harsh environment drilling services. Its mobile offshore drilling fleet consists of floaters and high-specification jackups used in support of offshore drilling activities and offshore support services across the world. The Company owns or has partial ownership interests in and operates over 60 mobile offshore drilling , including approximately 30 ultra‑deepwater floaters, over seven harsh environment floaters, over five deepwater floaters, over 10 midwater floaters and approximately 10 high-specification jackups."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Julian Robertson: Stocks & Bonds in Bubble, Especially Bonds

Julian Robertson of legendary hedge fund Tiger Management appeared on Bloomberg late yesterday in an interview with Tom Keene.  In it, they touched on a myriad of topics, including the hedge fund industry, which Robertson said was facing the most challenging time ever.  He also said a bubble is brewing in financial assets.

Here's a quick summary with the video below:

- While interest rates aren't negative in the US yet, thinks it's tragic they're down this far

- Says Janet Yellen's not willing to see the American public take pain

- Robertson said negative and near-zero rates from central banks have sped up borrowing at low costs and money is flowing into financial assets.  Thinks bubble in equities and when it bursts, will spread to real estate. 

- "I would tell them (investors) in my opinion, there's going to be chaos created by the negative and low interest rates."

- Thinks investors should have at least some money allocated to hedge funds, so that they can truly be hedged and have some protection

- That said, thinks some great companies are undervalued, cited healthcare, biotech, and technology stocks specifically.  "A company like Celgene is very reasonably priced.  The Google's, those type things, Microsoft.  They're available at very reasonable multiples."

- Invests his own money but the rest is allocated to Tiger Cub hedge funds, or funds founded by managers that used to work for him (you can see many of those funds' portfolios in our quarterly newsletter).

- Specifically called out bonds as stretched with all the bond-buying programs.  Yields at record lows has forced prices to levels that aren't sustainable

- Thinks China will come out with a strong program against hydrocarbons

- Feels there's already a lot of regulation in the hedge fund industry, especially compared to what it used to be.  But says that's normal as an industry grows.

- "It's the most difficult time I've ever seen in the (hedge fund) business.  Because there are a lot of people who are squeezing shorts and they make a business of doing that.  Furthermore, I don't quite know how the quants work, but I think they have a way of squeezing shorts that is very tough too.  At any rate, I think it's tougher to be a hedge fund investor than ever before.  Hedge funds ordinarily don't outperform the markets except when the markets go down.  But right now it's a very difficult time for them."

- "There's a distinct drift occurring in the fee structure." (2% management fee and 20% performance fee)

- Says you make every effort to avoid any areas where insider trading could be possible:  "It's very difficult to determine whether something is an excellent job of research or is in fact inside information."

- On the UK: "I think London is gonna be durable, but this gonna be tough on the UK.  I think it's gonna be very tough."

- On Europe: "I'm reasonably pessimistic on Europe.  But I think the immediate problem is probably rougher in the UK.  George Soros has written a lot about this and I have a lot of respect for him."

- On America: "I'm extremely optimistic because I think we have really great young people and I've always worked with young people."

Embedded below is the video of Robertson's interview:

You can view somewhat recent portfolio activity from Tiger Management here.

What We're Reading ~ 9/28/16

Investing to avoid the consequences of being wrong [aaii]

Comments on investment philosophy [Bronte Capital]

9 ways to improve investing performance [Livewire Markets]

The traits and processes that lead to better forecasts [aaii]

Cognitive bias cheat sheet [Better Humans]

How to build a business that lasts 100 years [TED]

KLX shares could lift off [Barrons]

Why the great divide is growing between affordable and expensive US cities [WSJ]

Amazon's latest ambition: competing with UPS and FedEx [WSJ]

Why video games could be causing a big problem in America [Washington Post]

Jack Ma's grand ambitions [Fortune]

Negative rates nails savers [Mauldin Economics]

When restaurants ditch the dining room [Eater]

Darsana Capital Ups Spirit Aerosystems Stake

Anand Desai's hedge fund firm Darsana Capital Partners has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding its stake in Spirit Aerosystems (SPR).  Per the filing, Darsana now owns 5.4% of SPR with 7 million shares.

This is up from the 5.25 million shares they owned at the end of the second quarter.  The filing was made due to activity on September 16th.

SPR has been a favorite among a few other hedge funds we cover as well: Hound Partners, Marble Arch Investments, Aravt Global, and Newtyn Management, among others.

About Darsana Capital

Prior to founding Darsana, Desai worked with Eric Mindich at Eton Park Capital.  Darsana's most recent 13F filing showed $1.9 billion in assets but keep in mind that doesn't include international positions, or cash.

About Spirit Aerosystems

Per Google Finance, Spirit Aerosystems is "a non-original equipment manufacturer (OEM) aircraft parts designer and manufacturer of commercial aero-structures. The Company is a supplier of aero-structures to The Boeing Company (Boeing) and Airbus S.A.S (Airbus). The Company operates through three segments: Fuselage Systems, Propulsion Systems and Wing Systems. It is engaged in production, including the majority of the airframe content for the Boeing B737. It is also a content supplier of wing systems for the Airbus A320 family. It is a supplier for the Airbus A380 and Airbus A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body). Its products include Fuselage Systems, Propulsion Systems and Wing Systems. The Company offers spares and replacement parts for B737 Classic, B737NG, B747, B757, B767, B777, Rolls-Royce BR725, A320, A330, A340 and A380. Its Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul at repair stations provide complete on-site repair and overhaul to support MRO services for B747, B767, B777, B787 and Rolls-Royce BR725.."

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Complimentary Equity Reports From Boyar Research

Boyar Research has generously offered to give Market Folly readers complimentary in-depth equity research on three stocks they feel have multi-bagger potential.

You can receive your free reports by clicking here.

Since 2009, over 25% of the companies featured in Boyar Research's Asset Analysis Focus have achieved multi-bagger status within 3 years of publication.  Over the same period, the average stock Boyar profiled increased 73% compared to the S&P 500's 45% gain.*

Average 3 Year Performance of Companies Profiled by Boyar Research

Some of Boyar Research's multi-baggers include:

Find out what companies Boyar Research believes could be next by requesting complimentary reports on three companies, exclusively for Market Folly readers.  Click here to receive the reports.

Since 1975 Boyar Research has been providing independent research utilizing a business person's approach to stock market investing.  They take a company's financial statement and tear it apart, and then reconstruct it in accordance with economic reality - as opposed to generally accepted accounting principles.  Their various publications provide in-depth reports on companies they believe to be selling below their estimate of intrinsic or private market value.

To learn more about Boyar Research visit

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  These results are unaudited.  The results represent the 3 year performance from the date of publication and takes into account spinouts and special dividends but not regular dividends.  These are the results of companies profiled in all issues of Asset Analysis Focus excluding The Forgotten Forty.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Steve Eisman Thinks US Destined For Slow Growth: Jeff Saut Market Commentary

Market strategist Jeff Saut of Raymond James has put out his latest piece entitled, "Schadenfreude."  In it, he talks about his recent meeting with Steve Eisman.

Here's what Eisman is thinking these days, according to Saut:  "Steve concluded that Europe is currently sick, the U.S. is likely destined for slow growth because there is not a big enough mortgage refi pipeline to boost the economy, and that Italy is in big trouble.  Steve said to bea short seller you need to embrace 'Schadenfreude.'"

Eisman, of course, was famously profiled in the book The Big Short that subsequently was turned into a movie where he was played by Steve Carrell.

Eisman also walked Saut through the financial crisis, noting that for a crisis like that to happen, you need 3 things: too much leverage, a big asset class that blows up, and then large institutions holding most of the asset class that blows up.

Embedded below is Jeff Saut's latest market commentary, Schadenfreude:

You can view Saut's previous market commentary here.

Senator Investment Group Takes Comstock Resources Stake

Alex Klabin and Doug Silverman's hedge fund Senator Investment Group has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding shares of Comstock Resources (CRK).  Per the filing, Senator now owns 7.32% of the company with 922,754 shares (including 93,500 shares issuable upon exercise of warrants).

This is a newly disclosed equity position for the firm as they did not own any at the end of the second quarter.  The filing was made due to activity on September 13th.

For more from this fund, check out Alex Klabin on the intangibles of building a great hedge fund.

Per Google Finance, Comstock Resources is "an energy company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas in the United States. The Company operates in the segment of exploration and production of oil and natural gas. The Company's oil and gas operations are concentrated in Texas and Louisiana. Its operations are focused in two operating areas: East Texas/North Louisiana and South Texas. The Company's properties in the East Texas/North Louisiana region include approximately 80,660 acres in the Haynesville or Bossier shale formations. The Company's Eagleville field includes approximately 30,220 acres located in the oil window of the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas. The Company owns interests in over 1,575 producing oil and natural gas wells, and operates over 950 of these wells. The Company owns interests in over 20 wells in the Rosita field, located in Duval County, Texas."

Paulson & Co Trims Synergy Pharmaceuticals Position

John Paulson's hedge fund firm Paulson & Co has filed a Form 4 with the SEC regarding its stake in Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP).  Per the filing, Paulson sold over 3.47 million shares in total on September 16th and 19th at prices around $5.61. 

After these transactions, Paulson & Co is left with exposure to SGYP of over 24.28 million shares.

A previously filed Form 3 with the SEC indicates that they had notional principal amount derivative agreements in place as well in the form of cash settled swaps representing share equivalents of 2.21 million shares with strikes ranging from $3.31 to $6.347 and expiration dates ranging from November 4th, 2016 to October 5th, 2017.

You can view other recent portfolio activity from Paulson & Co here.

Per Google Finance, Synergy Pharmaceuticals is "a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of gastrointestinal (GI) therapies. The Company's GI platform includes two lead product candidates: plecanatide and dolcanatide. It is engaged in the discovery, research and development involving uroguanylin analogs for the treatment of functional GI disorders and inflammatory bowel disease. Plecanatide is the Company's uroguanylin analog being evaluated for use as a once-daily tablet for two functional GI disorders, chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C). Plecanatide is a 16-amino acid peptide that is structurally identical to uroguanylin with the exception of a single amino acid change. Dolcanatide is also its uroguanylin analog being explored for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Dolcanatide is designed to be an analog of uroguanylin with resistance to standard digestive breakdown by proteases in the intestine."