Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Jeffrey Vinik, Starboard Value, Eddie Lampert, Neonode, Inc (NEON), Know Labs Inc (KNWN), and More

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Jeffrey Vinik Thinks Cannabis Stocks are a Bad Idea: ‘Nobody’s Going to Make Money’ (CNBC)
Jeffrey Vinik, who just announced the revival of his hedge fund after a stellar career of stock picking, doesn’t see any opportunity in cannabis stocks. “I won’t say zero, but my guess is that they’re overhyped,” Vinik said on “Squawk Box ” on Thursday. “There’s going to be too much competition, margins are going to come down, [and] nobody’s going to make money.” Vinik, who rose to investing fame while running Fidelity’s Magellan Fund, launched Vinik Asset Management in the 1990s and focused on fundamental analysis and stock picking. Over a 17-year run spanning the mid-1990s to 2013, Vinik’s fund returned 17 percent annually, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Starboard Building Stake in MGM Resorts: Sources (Reuters)
(Reuters) – Activist hedge fund Starboard Value is building a stake in MGM Resorts, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. MGM Resorts is aware of Starboard’s investment, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Starboard’s strategy for targeting MGM could not be immediately established. “The Company does not comment on market rumors”, MGM Resorts said in a statement. Starboard did not respond to a request for comment.

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Eddie Lampert Raises Offer to Keep Sears Open to More Than $5 Billion (Bloomberg)
Eddie Lampert’s ESL Investments is sweetening its offer to keep Sears Holdings Corp. in business, outlining a $5 billion plan to buy the retailer out of bankruptcy. The new bid, about $600 million more than Lampert previously offered, should satisfy conditions set in U.S. bankruptcy court on Tuesday after his earlier plan was rejected, ESL said Thursday in a filing. The terms include up to $166 million to cover payments to suppliers, up to $139 million of bankruptcy-related expenses and as much as $43 million of additional employee severance.

Ben Melkman’s Hedge Fund Suffers a Second Year of Losses (Bloomberg)
Ben Melkman, who won backing from billionaire Steven Cohen and Dan Loeb for his fledgling hedge fund, lost money for a second year in a row. His $1.6 billion Light Sky Macro fell 2.3 percent in 2018 after a 2.9 percent loss in December, according to people familiar with the matter. The fund also declined 9.7 percent in its first 10 months of trading in the previous year.

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