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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Edward Lampert, Crispin Odey, CQS Cayman LP, Voce Capital Management, Encompass Health Corporation (EHC), Arconic Inc (ARNC), Equifax Inc. (EFX), and More

Crispin Odey’s Hedge Fund Plunges 10% as Stock Markets Rebound (Bloomberg)
Equity markets are staging a comeback, and that’s bad news for bearish hedge fund manager Crispin Odey. His flagship Odey European Inc. fund fell just over 10 percent last month, according to an investor update seen by Bloomberg. While sharp losses and gains aren’t unusual for Odey’s investors, this was the fund’s biggest monthly decline in nearly three years.

Lampert’s New Sears Faces Fresh Legal Fights (The Wall Street Journal)
Lampert’s new Sears faces fresh legal fights. Edward Lampert has been at the helm of the new Sears for just weeks, but the retailer is already sparring with the old company left behind in bankruptcy as well as with Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

Countries with the Smallest Government Per Capita in the World

Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com

San Francisco hedge fund manager makes big bet on forcing change at Argo (ExpressNews.com)
Voce Capital Management’s J. Daniel Plants has waged numerous proxy fights over the last eight years, but likely none bigger than the one he recently launched against Argo Group International Holdings — a specialty insurer with its U.S headquarters in San Antonio. Plants has come out guns blazing directly at Argo and Mark E. Watson III, its its longtime CEO and president. He attacked them in a letter to the insurer’s shareholders for what he called “anemic” results by one measure of profitability and for “excessive and shockingly inappropriate corporate expenses and perks.”

Longtime Point72 PM exits for Millennium (eFinancialCareers)
A Point72 portfolio manager who has spent his last 20 years with the firm has resigned and is headed to Millennium Management. Emilio Masci, formerly of EverPoint Asset Management, a long/short equity division of Point72, is set to start with Millennium in the New York area. Masci was clearly valued by Steve Cohen. He’s been working with the hedge fund manager since 1999, and began his career at SAC Capital. SAC became Point72 and turned into a family office in 2014 before accepting outside capital again in 2018. Masci was there all along.

A Hedge Fund Steps Into Nigeria’s $9 Billion Corporate Dispute (Bloomberg)
Nigeria potentially faces the largest financial liability in its history, and a hedge fund is coming to collect. The legal and political drama involves a deal between the country and a tiny natural gas company that was scuttled after the sudden death of Nigeria’s president in 2010. The company, Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID), sued and won a staggering judgment, now worth $9 billion. But it’s spent years trying to get the country to pay that award, equivalent to almost 2.5 percent of its annual gross domestic product. Now a hedge fund managed by VR Capital Group has taken a large stake in P&ID.

$18 Billion Hedge Fund CQS is Targeting America’s Largest Investors with Specialized Strategies as Part of a US Push (Business Insider)
A multibillion-dollar London-based hedge fund wants to expand its presence in the United States, and it thinks customized strategies built for specific investors is the way to do it. CQS, an $18 billion hedge fund manager founded by a billionaire who was knighted by the Queen, named a new CEO, Xavier Rolet, at the end of last year. The firm had been run by Sir Michael Hintze for its first two decades of existence.

SEC Commissioner Jackson: Buybacks Coincide With Increased Insider Selling (Benzinga)
Call it a coincidence or something more malicious, but according to a prominent SEC commissioner, there is a strong correlation between company buybacks subsequent stock sales from executives. Specifically, SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson found that company insiders are far more likely to sell their shares the day of an announced share buyback. Additionally, he found, companies that allow this tend to underperform over time, suggesting the executive paydays are coming at the expense of shareholders. “CEOs don’t sell valuable things cheaply,” he told CNN on Wednesday. “Executives are using buybacks as a way to cash out.”

A Director at Encompass Health Corporation (NYSE: EHC) is Buying Shares (AnalystRatings)
Today, a Director at Encompass Health Corporation (EHC), Leo Higdon, bought shares of EHC for $58.84K. Following Leo Higdon’s last EHC Buy transaction on November 03, 2015, the stock climbed by 25.5%. This is Higdon’s first transaction since reporting a Sell transaction on EV back in October 2018. Based on Encompass Health Corporation’s latest earnings report for the quarter ending December 31, the company posted quarterly revenue of $1.1 billion and quarterly net profit of $28.1 million. In comparison, last year the company earned revenue of $1.01 billion and had a net profit of $60.4 million. EHC’s market cap is $5.84B and the company has a P/E ratio of 20.16. Currently, Encompass Health Corporation has an average volume of 490.5K.

Former Equifax Executive Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading (TimesFreePress)
ATLANTA (AP) — A former Equifax executive who sold shares for nearly $1 million a week and a half before the company announced a massive data breach pleaded guilty Thursday in Atlanta to a federal insider trading charge. Jun Ying, 43, exercised all his available stock options before making the sale and realized a gain of more than $480,000 on the sale, prosecutors said. That’s about $117,000 more than it would have been worth immediately after the price plummeted when the breach was disclosed.

Friday 3/8 Insider Buying Report: ARNC, UVE (Nasdaq.com)
Bargain hunters are wise to pay careful attention to insider buying, because although there are many various reasons for an insider to sell a stock, presumably the only reason they would use their hard-earned dollars to make a purchase, is that they expect to make money. Today we look at two noteworthy recent insider buys. At Arconic, a filing with the SEC revealed that on Thursday, CEO John C. Plant bought 105,000 shares of ARNC, at a cost of $18.51 each, for a total investment of $1.94M. Investors have the opportunity to bag ARNC even cheaper than Plant did, with shares changing hands as low as $18.11 in trading on Friday which is 2.1% under Plant’s purchase price. Arconic is trading up about 0.3% on the day Friday.

PPL Corp (NYSE:PPL) Insider Trading Activity – Chairman Sold 225,365 shares of Stock (MarketExclusive)
Insider Trading Activity For PPL Corp (NYSE:PPL): William H. Spence , Chairman of PPL Corp (NYSE:PPL) reportedly Sold 225,365 shares of the company’s stock at an average price of 32.5 for a total transaction amount of $7,324,362.50.

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