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Billionaire Larry Robbins Picks Up a Million Shares of Manitowoc Company Inc (MTW), Goes Activist

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Larry RobbinsGlenview Capital has added 1.0 million shares to its Manitowoc Company Inc (NYSE:MTW) holding, according to a 13D filing this week. The billionaire investor’s new position now consists of just over 9.61 million shares and constitutes 7.06% ownership of the outstanding common shares of the manufacturer of cranes and foodservice equipment. It’s worth noting also that Robbins’ position is now activist, whereas his first filing related to the holding, in March, was passive.


A graduate with honors from the Wharton School and Moore School of the University of Pennsylvania, Robbins worked for veteran investor Leon Cooperman at his fund Omega Advisors, as an analyst and partner, before he launched his own fund in February 2001. Headquartered in New York, Glenview currently has about 83 employees. The market value of the fund’s public equity portfolio stood at $21.90 billion at the end of the first quarter, with healthcare and consumer discretionary being the two major contributing sectors.

Glenview is a fund that we have been following since the launch of Insider Monkey and it now stands alongside more than 700 other investment firms. We follow hedge funds because our research has shown that their stock picks historically managed to generate alpha even though the filings are up to 45 days delayed. We used a 60-day delay in our back tests to be on the safe side and our research showed that the 15 most popular small-cap stocks among hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Total Return Index by an average of 95 basis points per month between 1999 and 2012. After adjusting for risk, our calculations revealed that these stocks’ monthly alpha was 80 basis points. We have also been sharing and tracking the performance of these stocks since the end of August 2012, during which time they have returned 144%, outperforming the S&P 500 ETF by nearly 85 percentage points (see more details here).

Glenview initiated a stake in Manitowoc Company Inc (NYSE:MTW) during the first quarter, of just under 8.61 million shares. While referring to the recent hike in stake, the fund mentioned that it plans to discuss certain alternatives with the company’s management that could significantly enhance shareholder value, hence switching its position to activist. The $2.66 billion company is on track to segregate its Cranes and Foodservice businesses at some point during the first quarter of next year. The lackluster first quarter financial results of Manitowoc Company Inc (NYSE:MTW) included a net loss per share of $0.05, which was $0.03 below estimates and revenues of $752.1 million that missed the estimated mark by $10.01 million. The disappointment was rooted in the Foodservice segment due to underperformance of its KitchenCare business, which suffered from the reduced capital expenditure by large chains, particularly in Asia. Mistakes made in the past by Manitowoc Company Inc (NYSE:MTW)’s management relating to call center operations and parts-stocking issues have weighed heavily on the KitchenCare business as well and consequently led to leadership changes.

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