Editor’s Note: Related Tickers: SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD), Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG), Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW), Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY), Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN), Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE:OIS), Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE:CBI)
What Does Activist Investor Dan Loeb Want With Hollywood? (Hint: Could It Be Yahoo?) (TheWrap)
The manager of the $12.9 billion hedge fund Third Point Ventures is smart, strategic and — according to an individual close to the hedge fund manager — he’s not necessarily interested in entertainment per se. He may, however, be interested in content. “Hollywood is a small piece of business,” said this individual, noting that Third Point owns about 5.3 percent of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and made its money this year trading Greek debt. “Dan Loeb hired Marissa Mayer to run Yahoo. If he was trying to transform Yahoo, having a traditional media company with a deep content library might be interesting to own.” In other words, could Loeb be looking to marry Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE)’s content with Yahoo? Crazier things have happened.
Hedge funds shop at Supervalu, sour on Apple (Reuters)
Regulatory filings revealed that Barry Rosenstein’s JANA Partners, a hedge fund with $5.5 billion in assets, picked up some 14 million shares of SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU) in the quarter ended March 31. For Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management, a $9.5 billion firm, however, it was a different story, as the hedge fund dumped all of its roughly 10 million shares. Leon Cooperman’s $9 billion Omega Advisors also jumped into Supervalu, opening a 6.87 million-share position, a filing revealed. The filings also showed just how much Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s star dimmed in the first quarter. Chase Coleman’s $12 billion Tiger Global Management sold 790,000 Apple shares in the quarter, while Cliff Asness’s $80 billion AQR Capital Management sold about 150,000 shares.
Kickboxing Oil Trader Pursues Knockout at New Hedge Fund (Bloomberg)
Andurand Capital, which started doing business on Feb. 1, provides its managing partner with an opportunity to salvage his reputation as one of London’s most talented oil traders after his previous — and now extinct — hedge-fund firm, BlueGold Capital Management LLP, lost 34 percent in 2011. As for kickboxing, Andurand has poured $30 million into the sport’s biggest promoter, Glory Sports International Pte, in an attempt to turn it into a moneymaker. Pierre Andurand, who’s chairman of Glory Sports, sees it as more than a business proposition.
The ‘Smart Money’ Hedge Funds Don’t Look So Smart Anymore (Forbes)
Not long ago it seemed that the “smart money” was invested in hedge funds which generated outsized returns for investors. When broad markets fell by 40% in the crash of 2008 and 2009, hedgies like John Paulson, who bet against mortgage-backed securities, made fortunes. In 2007, Paulson made $3.7 billion. In 2010, he made $5 billion. Now that the financial crisis has abated, such returns for Paulson and his fellow superstar hedgies appear to be a thing of the past. And, with the recent rash of insider trading prosecutions by the Feds against hedge fund managers, investors must seriously question the value of putting their money with these folks.
Apple shares fall as hedge funds flee (USA TODAY)
In a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission of current holdings, David Tepper, founder and chief investment officer at major hedge fund Appaloosa Management, indicated Wednesday he is less enamored with the iconic maker of iPads, iPhones and Mac computers.
One of Tepper’s major strategy shifts in the first quarter was to reduce his Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stake by 41%. Tepper’s Appaloosa firm has roughly $18 billion under management. Hedge fund legend Julian Robertson showed his Tiger Management fund dumped its once-sizable position in the Mac computer maker. The SEC filing showed that Tiger owned zero shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) at the end of the first quarter of 2013, vs. 42,125 shares at the end of the prior quarter.
Credit: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)
Warren Buffett Gets Into Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (CBI), Adds More Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) (Insider Monkey)
In the fourth quarter of 2012, Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) overtook long-timer Warren Buffett favorite The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) to become Berkshire Hathaway’s largest holding by market value; Berkshire kept buying early in this year, and owned about 460 million shares at the end of March. At a price-to-book ratio of 1.4, Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) actually trades at…
…a premium to the book value of its equity, rare among megabanks in the current environment. The largest “new pick” in Buffett’s portfolio- although, in fact, many of Berkshire’s new investments are currently being made by Buffett’s designated successors- was $6.2 billion market cap engineering and construction services company Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE:CBI).
Activist Hedge Fund Jumps Into Toxic Twins Groupon And Zynga (Forbes)
Jana Partners, run by Barry Rosenstein, disclosed Wednesday that is took stakes in the pair during the first quarter. The 13F filing shows Jana holds 21.9 million shares in Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) (about 3.3%) and 25.5 million shares in Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) (about 4.3%). The positions are not among Jana’s largest. Based on Wednesday morning prices — and both stocks were up sharply on news of the hedge fund’s involvement — the Groupon holding was worth nearly $161 million and the Zynga shares about $91 million.
Lampert’s RBS Hedge Fund Cuts Stake in Genworth, Sells Safeway (Bloomberg)
Edward Lampert, the billionaire chairman and chief executive officer of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD), reported that he and his hedge fund cut a stake in Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW) by almost a third and sold its holdings in Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG) and grocer Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY). RBS Partners LP reduced its stake in Genworth to 8.4 million shares as of March 31, according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, down from 12.1 million at the end of last year. The fund, based in Bay Harbor, Florida, also sold its 1.4-million-share stake in Big Lots and its 845,000-share stake in Safeway.
Citi: Institutional hedge fund investments will climb to $2.3 trillion by 2017 (Pensions & Investments)
Global institutional investment in hedge funds will increase 56% to $2.3 trillion by year-end 2017 from the end of 2012, predicted researchers at Citi Prime Finance in a report released Wednesday. Institutional assets will account for 71% of global hedge fund industry assets as of the end of 2017, up from 66% as of Dec. 31, 2012, and 53% at the end of 2007, according to Citi’s report, “The Rise of Liquid Alternatives & the Changing Dynamics of Alternative Product Manufacturing and Distribution.” Hedge funds as a percentage of global defined benefit plan assets will rise to 5.3% at the end of 2017, compared with 4.2% at the end of 2012 and 3% as of Dec. 31, 2007, the report said.
Highbridge Alumnus’s North Asia Hedge Fund Trails Japan Rally (Bloomberg)
Arena Capital Offshore Fund, a Japan-focused hedge fund run by Highbridge Capital Management LLC alumnus Toby Bartlett, trailed its peers even as the nation’s stocks surged to the highest since 2008. The $44 million hedge fund, backed by a division of Man Group Plc (EMG), returned 2.6 percent this year through April, according to its April newsletter to investors seen by Bloomberg News. This year’s gain compares with the 8.8 percent return by the Eurekahedge Asia Hedge Fund Index and the 19 percent gain by the index that tracks Japan-focused funds.
Greenlight Takes About 5% Stake in Oil States International (Wall Street Journal)
David Einhorn’s hedge fund Greenlight Capital Inc. took a nearly 5% stake in Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE:OIS), a company he declared a target for shareholder activism last week. The hedge-fund manager, speaking at an industry investment conference, said he thinks the stock should be worth $118 a share and noted that another activist firm, Jana Partners, had filed a plan that could send shares even higher. Jana proposed that Oil States International spin out a business that provides lodging on energy sites into a real-estate investment trust, a move Mr. Einhorn could said could send the stock to $155 a share. Mr. Einhorn added he would be happy to let Jana handle the activist fight.