Friday, October 13, 2017

Hedge Fund Links ~ 10/13/17

Hedge funds ain't dead yet [WSJ]

Hedge funds dabbling in more obscure markets [WSJ]

Mark Yusko wanted to do round 2 of Buffett vs hedge funds bet [CNBC]

Warren Buffett decides not to do second wager against hedge funds [CNBC]

Nope, hedge funds are still in the dumper [Bloomberg]

Baupost one of the larger holders of Puerto Rican debt [The Intercept]

Man Group letting computers trade all on their own [CNBC]

Down $240 million on his 7-year short, a China bear gives in [Bloomberg]

Sun co-founder gets secretive hedge fund to make huge chip bet [Bloomberg]

Man starting world's biggest crypto fund calls bitcoin a bubble [Bloomberg]

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Viking Global Shows Deciphera Pharmaceuticals Stake

Andreas Halvorsen's hedge fund firm Viking Global has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding shares of Deciphera Pharmaceuticals (DCPH).  Per the filing, Viking now owns 8.1% of the company with over 2.47 million shares.

This is a newly disclosed public equity stake for the hedge fund, however Viking had previously invested privately in the company via Series C financing.  The filing was made due to portfolio activity on October 2nd as the company just completed its initial public offering (IPO).

For more from this hedge fund, we've posted up some other recent portfolio activity from Viking Global here.

Per Google Finance, Deciphera Pharmaceuticals is "a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is developing drugs to improve the lives of cancer patients. Its drug candidate includes DCC-2618, DCC-3014 and Rebastinib. Its proprietary kinase switch control inhibitor platform, inhibit the activation of kinases. DCC-2618, an orally administered kinase switch control inhibitor, for the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), advanced systemic mastocytosis (ASM), gliomas, including glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), and other solid tumors driven by pan-KIT or PDGFR alpha. DCC-3014 is an orally administered, potent and highly selective inhibitor of colony stimulating factor receptor 1 (CSF1R). Rebastinib is an orally administered, potent and selective inhibitor of the TIE2 immunokinase. Rebastinib binds potently into the switch pocket of TIE2, stabilizing the inhibitory switch and displacing the activation switch to block TIE2 signaling."

Carl Icahn's Herbalife Ownership Increases Due To Company Buyback

Activist investor Carl Icahn has filed an amended 13D regarding his position in Herbalife (HLF).  Per the filing, Icahn now owns 26.22% of the company.  This is up from his previous ownership stake of 24%, but it's not due to him buying more shares.  He still retains the same amount as he previously did: 22.87 million shares.

Herbalife recently announced results from its self-tender offer to buy around $600 million of its own stock.  It accepted over 6.73 million shares at $68 per share.

Sellers of stock received a contingent value right (CVR) for each share tendered that provides a right to payment should the company be taken private in the next two years.  After the tender completes, HLF will have around 87 million shares outstanding.

As a result, Icahn's ownership percentage increased without him doing anything.

And as we've highlighted previously,  Bill Ackman continues to be short Herbalife as well.

Per Google Finance, Herbalife Ltd. is "a global nutrition company. The Company develops and sells weight management, healthy meals and snacks, sports and fitness, energy and targeted nutritional products, as well as personal care products. Its operating segments are based on geographical operations in six regions: North America; Mexico; South and Central America; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); Asia Pacific, and China. The Company categorizes its products into five groups: weight management, targeted nutrition, energy, sports and fitness, outer nutrition, and literature, promotional and other. As of December 31, 2016, it marketed and sold approximately 140 products encompassing over 4,700 stock keeping units (SKUs) globally. Its product categories include meal replacement; protein shakes; drink mixes; dietary and nutritional supplements containing herbs, vitamins, minerals and other natural ingredients; facial skin care; body care; hair care products; sales tools, and educational materials."

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What We're Reading ~ 10/11/17

Richard Thaler wins Nobel Prize for work on behavioral economics [NYTimes]

Thaler's book: Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics [Richard Thaler]

His other book, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness [Richard Thaler]

Warren Buffett bets on the fossil fuel highway [WSJ]

Victoria's Secret is on the right runway [Bloomberg]

Decoding the Chinese internet market [Slideshare]

A new round in the battle of the brands [Harding Loevner]

As goes the middle class, so goes TGI Fridays [Eater]

The thrill of losing money investing in a Manhattan restaurant [New Yorker]

Baupost Group Slightly Increases Veritiv Stake

Seth Klarman's investment firm Baupost Group has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding its position in Veritiv (VRTV).  Per the filing, Baupost now owns 19.45% of the company with over 3.05 million shares.

This means they've increased their position size by 9,339 shares since the end of the second quarter.  The filing was made due to portfolio activity on September 30th.

Per Google Finance, Veritiv is "a business-to-business distributor of print, publishing, packaging and facility solutions. The Company also provides logistics and supply chain management solutions to its customers. The Company's segments are Print, Publishing & Print Management (Publishing), Packaging, Facility Solutions, and Corporate & Other. The Print segment sells and distributes commercial printing, writing, copying, digital, wide format and specialty paper products, graphics consumables and graphics equipment. The Publishing segment sells and distributes coated and uncoated commercial printing papers. The Packaging segment provides standard, as well as custom and packaging solutions. The Facility Solutions segment sources and sells cleaning, break-room and other supplies such as towels, tissues, wipers and dispensers, can liners, commercial cleaning chemicals, soaps and sanitizers, sanitary maintenance supplies and equipment, safety and hazard supplies, and shampoos and amenities."

ValueAct Capital Pares Down Willis Towers Watson Stake Again

Jeff Ubben's activist investment firm ValueAct Capital has filed a Form 4 with the SEC regarding its position in Willis Towers Watson (WLTW). We've highlighted previously how ValueAct has been trimming its WLTW stake and that trend continues.

This time around, the hedge fund sold 8,118 WLTW shares on October 6th at a price of $156.06.  After this sale, they're left owning 2.97 million shares.

This firm has been quite busy as of late and we also posted about another stock ValueAct has been trimming.

Per Google Finance, Willis Towers Watson "operates as a global advisory, broking and solutions company. It is engaged in offering risk management, insurance broking, consulting, technology and solutions, and private exchanges. The Company operates through eight segments: Willis International; Willis North America; Willis Capital, Wholesale & Reinsurance (CWR); Willis GB; Towers Watson Benefits; Towers Watson Exchange Solutions; Towers Watson Risk and Financial Services; and Towers Watson Talent and Rewards. The Willis GB segment comprises four business units: Property and Casualty, Transport, Financial Lines and Retail Networks. The Willis Capital Wholesale and Reinsurance segment includes Willis Re; Willis Capital Markets & Advisory; Willis' wholesale business, and Willis Portfolio Underwriting Services. The Willis North America segment provides risk management, insurance brokerage and related risk services."

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Invest For Kids Chicago Conference 2017 Right Around the Corner

The 9th annual Invest For Kids Chicago Conference is just under one month away.  It will feature top investors presenting their latest investment ideas in order to benefit smaller charitable organizations.  Over the past 8 years, they've supported 47 organizations with gifts of $150,000 to $225,000 each.  This year 7 organizations will be beneficiaries.

You can learn more about the event and register for the conference here.

Invest For Kids Conference Details

When: November 2nd, 2017 1:30pm to 5:30pm

Where: Harris Theater, Chicago

2017 Speakers List

Dmitry Balyasny, Balyasny Asset Management

Sam Zell, Equity Group Investments

Alec Litowitz, Magnetar Capital

Amos Meron, Empyrean Capital

Rick Rieder, Blackrock

Michael Sacks, GCM Grosvenor

Jimmy Levin, Oz Management

Bart Stephens, Blockchain Capital

Rajiv Jain, GQG Partners

Bethany McLean, Journalist

Arne Duncan, Emerson Collective

The event always has three goals: assemble highly regarded managers to share their ideas, bring the Chicago investment community together, and of course provide support for various smaller organizations in an effort to support underprivileged children. 

If you're near the Chicago area or in the Midwest, it's definitely worth checking out.

Click here to register for Invest For Kids Chicago.