Ricky Sandler’s Eminence Capital has increased its passive stake in GNC Holdings Inc (NYSE:GNC), according to a Schedule 13G form submitted today to the SEC. The current stake of Eminence and its affiliates stands at 4.6 million shares, up from 3.73 million shares held previously, according to the last 13F filing. Emminence’s current stake in GNC accounts for 5.2% of the company’s outstanding common stock.
During the fourth quarter, Sandler trimmed GNC Holdings Inc (NYSE:GNC)’s stake by 12% to 3.72 million shares valued at $208.85 million. The stock has dropped by about 2.2% year to date. However, the company posted strong financial results for the fourth quarter which included an EPS of $0.61 beating estimates by $0.02 and $607.16 million revenues which were $7.79 million higher than expected. Dinakar Singh’s TPG-Axon Management Lp owns about 4.45 million shares of GNC Holdings Inc (NYSE:GNC) valued at $208.85 million.
Sandler founded Eminence capital in 1998 after working as a research analyst for Mark Asset Management. His investment philosophy involves an emphasis on pricing ‘growth of value’ and also virtues of short selling. . During the internet bubble and the growth obsession of 1999 when most value investors were down double digits, Sandler’s fund had positive gains to boast. Market value of his portfolio stood at $6.88 billion towards the end of 2014, with transport and information technology sectors constituting 30% and 27% of the portfolio value respectively. Sandler initiated new stakes in 19 companies during the fourth quarter, the most notable of which were in Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P), Darling Ingredients Inc (NYSE:DAR), and Outfront Media Inc (NYSE:OUT).
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With about 8.57 million shares valued at $152.79 million, Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) was the most valuable of Eminence’s new positions at the end of the fourth quarter. The stake constituted 2.22% of the fund’s portfolio value. During the fourth quarter the popularity of the internet radio services’ provider grew among the funds that we track and 43 firms had an aggregate investment of $909.78 million as compared to 37 funds with $1.3 billion a quarter earlier. Seymour Sy Kaufman and Michel Startk’s Crosslink Capital held the highest stake with 9.2 million shares valued at $164.14 million.
Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) is down by about 48% over the last 52 weeks. Competition from the likes of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Spotify has been tightening for the $3.41 billion company. Fourth quarter financial results were rather disappointing as Earnings per Share (EPS) of $0.18 missed estimates by $0.01 and revenues of $268 million also came in $8.53 million lighter than expected.
Darling Ingredients Inc (NYSE:DAR)‘s stake constituted 2.18% of Eminence’s portfolio value and comprised of 8.26 million shares valued at $150.04 million. The company develops and produces sustainable natural ingredients from edible and inedible bio-nutrients, creating a range of ingredients and customized specialty solutions for customers in the food, pet food, pharmaceutical, feed, fuel, bioenergy and fertilizer industries. Hedge funds seem to have been excited about the company’s future prospects as 29 firms invested $867.56 million in Darling during the fourth quarter versus 24 funds with 731.45 million in the previous quarter. Jeff Gates’ Gates Capital Management held 17.11 million shares valued at $310.64 million.
Strong fourth quarter performance involving an EPS of $0.42, which beat estimates by $0.21 and $1 billion revenues which also beat estimates by $43.07 million have not been able to stop the 31% decline in Darling Ingredients Inc (NYSE:DAR)’s stock price over the last year.
Outfront Media Inc (NYSE:OUT) is a provider of advertising space on out-of-home advertising structures and sites across U.S. Eminence purchased some 3.9 million shares valued at $104.4 million. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management also held about 428,200 shares valued at $11.51 million during the fourth quarter. Even though Outfront Media Inc (NYSE:OUT)’s fourth quarter EPS of $0.2 missed estimates by $0.04, revenues of $395 million were in line with expectations. The company’s stock is down by about 3.3% over the last year.