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Hedge Fund News: Warren Buffett, Marc Lasry, Apple Inc. (AAPL)

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Editor’s Note: Related Tickers: Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), TriQuint Semiconductor (NASDAQ:TQNT), Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE:OIS)

Berkshire size, Buffett age cloud annual gathering (Reuters)
Warren BuffettWarren Buffett may be on safari for major acquisitions, which he likes to call elephants, but shareholders may wonder if his Berkshire Hathaway Inc has become the biggest elephant in the room. Berkshire has grown to look more and more like corporate America, as Buffett expands outside its core insurance business into such areas as energy, industrial products, newspapers, and in February ketchup, when he teamed up with Brazil’s 3G Capital investment firm to buy H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ) for $23.2 billion. Few of the 35,000 or more people who will this weekend make a pilgrimage to Berkshire’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska for the company’s annual shareholder weekend, which Buffett calls “Woodstock for Capitalists,” are likely to criticize that strategy.

Herbalife Raises Annual Forecast Amid Ackman-Icahn Spat (Bloomberg)
Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), the nutrition company at the center of a battle between hedge-fund managers Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn, raised its 2013 earnings forecast as first-quarter profit topped analysts’ estimates. Profit this year will rise to as much as $4.80 a share, up from a previous forecast of $4.65, the Cayman Islands-based company said in a statement yesterday. Excluding some items, first-quarter profit was $1.27 a share, topping analysts’ projections of $1.06, the average of seven estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Herbalife has fought accusations from Ackman, founder of New York hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management LP, that it is a pyramid scheme. The company has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying it derives its profits from the sale of unique products. Shareholders have added two directors associated with Icahn, who has come to Herbalife’s defense.

Tesla is the next Apple or Google, hedge fund argues (MarketWatch)
If the Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) bulls weren’t happy enough with the electric car maker’s surging stock price of late, a hedge fund in Scottsdale, Ariz., is circulating its thesis on why Tesla will squeeze the shorts. Longboard Asset Management argues Tesla is the next Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Wall Street analysts are underestimating Tesla’s brand power. “It is our view that Tesla common stock will trade at $100 per share within 18 months and $200 within the next five years,” Longboard wrote in its presentation. The fund owns Tesla stock.

TriQuint Semiconductor (TQNT) & More: Hedge Funds Are Buying (Insider Monkey)
Following SEC filings is important, especially this is the case for 13Ds and 13Gs as they reveal the latest acquisitions or sales in the hedge fund arena. We’d like to focus on Luxor Capital Group, Starboard Value, and Jana Partners. These funds just took some action in the Journal Communications, Inc. (NYSE:JRN), TriQuint Semiconductor (NASDAQ:TQNT), Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE:OIS), and HF2 Financial Management Inc (NASDAQ:HTWO). Starboard Value Lp, managed by Jeffrey Smith, an Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) activist, revealed owning a 7.8% stake in TriQuint Semiconductor. According to a filing made with the SEC, the stake of Starboard Value Lp in TriQuint Semiconductor represents 12,585,000 shares. This is a new position in the Starboard Value equity portfolio, which includes 29 holdings aside from TriQuint Semiconductor (NASDAQ:TQNT). With this acquisition, Jeffrey Smith will join Ken Fisher and Chuck Royce in TriQuint.

Quad Capital Trader Was Customer in Apple Trade, FT Says (Bloomberg)
Apple Inc. (AAPL)A trader at a New York hedge fund was the customer in an unauthorized $1 billion purchase of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock that led to the failure of a Connecticut brokerage, the Financial Times reported. Quad Capital trader Harlan Sender was suspended from the firm after a probe of his Oct. 25 order was begun, the newspaper said. The transaction led to the guilty plea of former Rochdale Securities LLC trader David Miller. Miller earlier this month pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with the trade. He also entered into a partial civil settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency said. Miller, scheduled to be sentenced on July 8, faces as long as 25 years in prison.

Image: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Bridgewater’s McCormick Warns Against Veering to Protectionism (Bloomberg)
David McCormick, co-president of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates LP, said recent moves by regulators in global financial centers are “yellow flags” for the threat of protectionism. “We’ve had 35 years of globalization,” said McCormick, a former Treasury under-secretary for international affairs, at Bloomberg’s Washington Summit today. He said that it’s “by and large a bad thing” to see individual countries now seek…

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