4 Halloween Hedge Fund Moves Worth Watching

In the hedge fund world, there are dozens of transactions made on a daily basis, and if you’re a regular reader of Insider Monkey, you likely understand that some are more important than others. From Carl Icahn’s seemingly endless stream of moves to the lesser-known activist investors, it’s important to track hedge fund sentiment because it can beat the market if you know where to look.

With that being said, Halloween season is here, and we thought it’d be smart to take a look at some of the most important moves made this past week.


In a filing with the SEC on Wednesday, Carl Icahn revealed that he has now officially closed his entire position in Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL). At the beginning of September, the billionaire penned an open letter to Dell shareholders conceding his battle against a buyout from Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners, remarking, “The Dell board, like so many boards in this country, reminds me of Clark Gable’s last wordsthey simply ‘don’t give a damn.’”

Michael Dell

The company was delisted from the Nasdaq earlier this week, and the Dell-Silver Lake buyout paid shareholders $13.88 in cash per share, which included a 13-cent dividend. Icahn’s sale was made at this price as well.


On the same day, Jeff Ubben’s ValueAct Capital made yet another move out of Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE). The investor, who might be best known for his foray into Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) earlier this year, sold around 3.4 million shares of Adobe in his second sale of the month. Ubben now owns 25.3 million shares of the application software company, down from the 31.3 million share-stake reported at the end of the second quarter. Despite the selling activity, Ubben and ValueAct have still not abandoned their activist stake in Adobe, as they still own slightly more than 5% of the company’s outstanding shares.

Canadian Pacific Railway

As if you didn’t have enough activists on your radar already, Bill Ackman’s disclosure that he and Pershing Square cut 30% of their Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (USA) (NYSE:CP) stake last Friday is worth mentioning. Ackman now holds 17.2 million shares of the freight and logistics giant, versus 24.2 million reported in his latest 13F. Following the sale, the activist still owns 9.8% of the company and he’s still its largest shareholder. Unless he made any other large moves that weren’t reported to the SEC, we expect that Canadian Pacific has remained the largest holding in Ackman’s equity portfolio.

Talisman Energy

If you wanted more Icahn, you got it. At nearly the same time he closed his Dell position, Icahn disclosed that he has upped his activist stake in Talisman Energy Inc. (USA) (NYSE:TLM) to 6.96%, from 5.9% held at the beginning of October. Earlier this month, we discussed what you might not know about Icahn’s new stock pick, and the oil and gas producer is worth following because: (1) former Icahn pupil Keith Meister has a large stake, (2) Icahn has had successful campaigns in the energy sector before, (3) Talisman’s assets are undervalued, and (4) management isn’t against a buyout. The stock has fallen off a bit from its massive after-hours gain following Icahn’s 13D filing, and investors are uncertain just how long any value stimulation will take. We’ll be watching closely.

Disclosure: none