Third Point's Q4 Letter: Updates on Baxter, Campbells Soup, United Technologies & Nestle ~ market folly

Monday, February 25, 2019

Third Point's Q4 Letter: Updates on Baxter, Campbells Soup, United Technologies & Nestle

Dan Loeb and Third Point are out with their fourth quarter letter to investors.  Third Point finished 2018 down 11.3%, only the 4th time in 24 years they've lost more than 1% in a year. 

Their Q4 letter includes a large section on the state of the credit markets, as well as portfolio updates on some of their equity holdings like Baxter (BAX), Nestle (NSRGY), Campbells Soup (CPB), and United Technologies (UTX).

Third Point's Q4 Letter: Updates on Equity Positions

On CPB: They settled their proxy fight that gave them a mix of board representation as well as regular access to the board and executives.   They helped CPB recruit Mark Clouse as new CEO.  They're looking for the company to "repair the balance sheet, execute an operational turnaround of the business, and explore all options to create long-term value for  shareholders."

On UTX:  "Despite the separation announcement, UTC’s sum-of-the-parts  discount  has  continued  to widen  and  the  valuation  gap  versus  UTC’s  closest  multi-industry   peer,   Honeywell International, has reached a new 10-year high.The coming separation will shine a greater spotlight on the large valuation gap to UTC’s pure-play peers.During the separation process, we  expect  the  management  team  to  highlight  UTC’s  asset  quality  and  to  increase transparency  around  Pratt & Whitney’s very significant multi-year  inflection  in  free  cash flow generation."

On BAX: Operating margins of 17.4% have been achieved and they think there's further upside to 23%.  Since 2016 the company has returned $4 billion to shareholders and used another $1 billion for business development.  "Over the next 12-24 months, Baxter  expects  to  start  reaping  the  fruits  of  its  labor  with  several  new  product  launches including Spectrum IQ and Evo IQ pumps, and new generic injectable drugs. The innovation cycle  should  serve  to  drive  revenue  growth  acceleration  and  contribute  positively  to underlying operating margins."

Embedded below is Third Point's Q4 letter:

For more recent investor letters, we also posted up Warren Buffett's annual letter, as well as excerpts from Baupost Group's letter and Sequoia Fund's letter too.

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