Hedge Fund Highlights: Israel Englander, Eddie Lampert & Starboard Value LP

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3 bullish moves by hedge fund Millennium Management (MarketWatch)
In the latest round of 13F filings, Israel Englander‘s Millennium Management disclosed its equity positions as of the end of March. It is a diverse equity portfolio, although there is a slight focus on basic materials, services and health-care stocks. First off is PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL), a $21.2 billion market cap energy and utility holding company, engaged in the generation and marketing of electricity in the northeastern and western U.S. and in the delivery of electricity in Pennsylvania and the U.K. Englander’s fund has increased its stake in PPL by more than 40% during the quarter and now owns over 13 million shares, valued at around $435 million.

MILLENNIUM MANAGEMENT

Sears loss widens as discounts fail to arrest fall in sales (Reuters)
Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) posted a bigger loss for the first quarter as the struggling retailer failed to arrest a fall in sales despite offering heavy discounts to woo shoppers. Shares of the company, which operates Sears department stores and the Kmart discount chain, fell 4 percent in premarket trading. Sears, controlled by hedge fund billionaire Eddie Lampert, has been shedding assets and closing stores as it battles the operating losses and weak sales that have plagued the company since 2005, when the two chains were merged.

Former SAC, Och-Ziff Manager Said to Consider Own Hedge Fund (Bloomberg)
Ken Xu, a former managing director at SAC Capital Advisors and Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC (OZM), is considering setting up his own hedge fund in Hong Kong, said a person with knowledge of the matter. Xu left SAC, now renamed Point72 Asset Management LP, earlier this month, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. His license with the company was removed on May 16, according to data posted on the website of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission. Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Stamford, Connecticut-based Point72 at Sard Verbinnen & Co. in New York, declined to comment.

Pine River Capital Management’s Top Bullish Moves During the First Quarter (Insider Monkey)
A few days ago, Brian Taylor’s Pine River Capital Management, disclosed its equity positions at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Over the first fiscal quarter of 2014, the fund started 238 new stock positions, increased its stakes in 97 of its preexisting holdings, and sold out of 297 stocks. In this article, I will take a look Pine River’s 13F filing and briefly analyze five of its largest bullish moves. First off is Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG), a $14 billion market cap designer, manufacturer and marketer of da Vinci Surgical Systems and related instruments and accessories. Over Q1, Mr. Taylor’s fund started a position in the stock with 265,817 shares, now worth more than $96 million.

UPDATE 2-Starboard launches fight to take over Darden board (Reuters)
Starboard Value LP launched a fight to take over the board of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI), saying the planned sale of Darden’s Red Lobster seafood chain was “a value-destructive transaction” that ignored the rights of shareholders. Darden said last week it would sell Red Lobster to private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion, defying Starboard and another activist investor that had opposed the sale of the struggling chain.

Cramer’s favorite candy aisle (CNBC.com)

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