Hedge Funds Play ‘Jeopardy’ Over Herbalife (Wall Street Journal)
“Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” Hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman appropriated the title of the game show for a presentation labeling multilevel marketing firm Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) a “pyramid scheme,” a charge the company disputes vigorously. Rather than joining him in selling shares of the stock short, though, fellow activist investors Dan Loeb and Carl Icahn seemingly drew inspiration from another classic: “The Price is Right.” The fight involving Herbalife’s stock is a stalemate for now, but Monday’s first-quarter earnings could tip the scales toward those who see it as an investment opportunity. Earnings are seen at $1.06 a share versus 88 cents a year earlier, according to FactSet.
John Paulson and the Gold Price (Live Trading News)
Investor John Paulson told investors he is staying the course on Gold even though there may be more short term volatility in the price of the metal. The New York based hedge fund manager is sticking by his thesis that Gold will someday be a powerful hedge against inflation, and it was no different on the investor call he held. John Reade, a partner at Paulson & Co, said that the firm, which oversees about $18-B, is not veering off its course even as he cautioned that there could be more price fluctuations in the short term. Funds like HeffCap’s Metals Funds that have built a unique portfolio of Metals and Metal related derivatives and equities are set to see strong growth for the next few years.
New Conservative Push for Marriage Equality (Advocate.com)
Billionaire Republican hedge fund manager Paul Singer, who founded American Unity PAC last year to support Republicans who back marriage equality, has launched a new lobbying organizaton called American Unity Fund. According to Associated Press’ Big Story, American Unity Fund has already spent more than $250,000 in Minnesota, where the legislature is expected to vote on marriage equality next month. The new PAC has spent $500,000 on lobbying since last month, reports Patrick Condon, backing efforts in Delaware, Indiana, Rhode Island, Utah, and West Virginia. Spokesman Jeff Cook-McCormac told AP that this lobbying is the next phase in the push for marriage equality in the U.S.
Hedge funds zoom in on mutual funds (Pensions & Investments)
With the relentless shift to defined contribution plans from defined benefit plans, hedge fund managers are looking to DC plans to diversify their client base. “I think this is a spectacular opportunity. The 40 Act (the Investment Company Act of 1940, which regulates mutual funds) has real, tangible benefits for retail investors, and you will see some world-class hedge funds entering the liquid alternatives space,” said Neil Siegel, managing director and head of New York-based Neuberger Berman Group LLC’s global marketing and product development. Evan Mizrachy, the San Francisco-based head of retail alternatives for BlackRock Alternative Investments, agreed, saying: “There’s such a strong greenfield opportunity right now. Retail investors, including defined contribution plan investors, don’t have enough alternatives in their portfolios. At the same time, institutional investors have enough hedge funds and mostly will be doing manager upgrades.”
Priceline.com Inc (PCLN) & More: A Trio of Picks from GAMCO’s Howard Ward (Insider Monkey)
Howard Ward runs GAMCO’s growth portfolio, and is charge of billions of dollars of investment capital. He appeared on Bloomberg Wednesday to give a few of his picks. Ward likes Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF), Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) and Deere & Company (NYSE:DE). Priceline.com Inc has been a high flying stock over the last few years, but Ward continues to like it. He praised the company’s ability to…