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Pitney Bowes Inc. (PBI) and Theravance Inc (THRX)’s Stakes Further Rise In Iridian’s Portfolio

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In two recently amended filings David Cohen and Harold Levy‘s Iridian Asset Management has disclosed further increasing its passive stakes in Theravance Inc (NASDAQ:THRX) to 12.40 million shares from 10.8 million shares held earlier, and in Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) to 20.79 million shares from 18.7 million shares. Through its current holdings of Theravance and Pitney Bowes, the fund now has ownership of 10.6% and 10.3% of each company’s common stock, respectively.

Harold Levy Iridian Asset Management

Founded in 1996, the Westport, Connecticut-based Iridian Asset Management is driven by two core investment philosophies, which are the culmination of over 20 years of investment experience from its creators, David Cohen and Harold Levy. They involve firstly a pronounced emphasis on the cash-related metrics of a company, and secondly a critical assessment of its management. Companies undergoing some sort of corporate change, which affect their valuation in the market, but stand up to Iridian’s two pronged criteria find a place in the fund’s portfolio. While this strategy holds for Iridian’s mid-cap and large-cap holdings, Cohen and Levy also invest in the small-cap market to take advantage of temporary pricing inefficiencies. The fund’s portfolio had a market value of $10.75 billion as of 31 December 2014. Regulatory assets under the fund’s management amounted to $11.52 billion. 23.6% of the portfolio was invested in the information technology sector and 21.5% in the materials sector.
This is the second time Cohen and Levy disclosed raising their fund’s exposure to Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) and Theravance Inc (NASDAQ:THRX) this year, as in January the fund also reported increasing its position in both companies. The fund also shed away its entire stake in Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE:WYN), comprising of 4.21 million shares valued at $360 million during the same month, which paved the way for future investments.
Seth Klarman of Baupost Group also owned a hefty 19.82 million shares of Theravance Inc (NASDAQ:THRX) valued at $280.40 million as of the end of 2014. Although up nearly 36.8% year-to-date, the $2.29 billion bio-pharmaceutical company is down nearly 41% over the last 52 weeks. The company delivered solid fourth quarter financial results, the net loss per share of $0.14 being a penny better than the estimates and the $7.28 million revenues beat estimates by a considerable $1.86 million and were 395% higher year over year.
Iridian initiated a position in Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) during the second quarter of 2013. At that time the position was comprised of a mere 4.62 million shares. The stock has been up nearly 57% since then. The global provider of technology solutions to firms of all sizes reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.51, which was in line with the estimates, but its revenues of $983.91 million fell $46.09 million below the expectations.
Among other hedge funds invested in Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) are Jean-Marie Eveillard’s First Eagle Investment Management which owned 6.42 million shares valued at $156.48 million and D E Shaw which owned 5.78 million shares with a market value of $140.85 million.
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