Hedge Fund News: John Paulson, Tim Hortons Inc. (USA) (THI), CNO Financial Group Inc (CNO)

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Tim Hortons Inc. (USA) (NYSE:THI), Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), CNO Financial Group Inc (NYSE:CNO), Health Management Associates Inc (NYSE:HMA), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)

PAULSON & COHedge fund guru Paulson cashes in on CNO Financial bet (IBJ)
John Paulson, who made $15 billion betting against real estate and then saw his fortune shrink as gold slumped, is proving to be an effective insurance investor. Paulson’s hedge fund has more than doubled its money on Carmel-based CNO Financial Group Inc (NYSE:CNO), the life insurer he helped recapitalize in 2009. Paulson & Co. can realize more gains when warrants it received become exercisable this month at about half CNO Financial Group Inc (NYSE:CNO)’s current share price. …The fund “took a lot of risk and reaped a lot of reward” on CNO Financial Group Inc (NYSE:CNO), said Randy Binner, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. “To say they saved the company is fair.”

Australian hedge fund industry is teeming with opportunities (Opalesque)
Hedge fund managers who attended the latest Opalesque 2013 Australia Roundtable (sponsored by Eurex and Australian Fund Monitors) agreed that the Australian hedge fund industry is teeming with opportunities across several strategies. They discussed event driven and activist opportunities further, as well as current opportunities (also for retail investors) coming from domestic banks and lower interest rates. John Corr of Aurora Funds Management Group and manager of the Aurora Fortitude Absolute Return Fund, when discussing recent developments in the Australian hedge fund industry, said listed hybrids issued by Australian domestic banks have very attractive buyer terms which retail investors are selling in the short term to fund some new issues that are less attractive.

California Hedge Fund Association to Hold Fall Symposium at HedgeWorld West (PRWeb)
The latest installment of one of the nation’s leading hedge fund conferences, HedgeWorld West, will take place October 7-9, 2013 at the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, CA, this year in partnership with the California Hedge Fund Association (CHFA). HedgeWorld West is part of the PartnerConnect series of alternative assets events which collectively bring together over 1,000 investors and managers from across the alternatives industry including hedge, private equity, and venture capital funds. For the first time, the CHFA, a rapidly growing organization with over 650 members, will partner with HedgeWorld to present a wide-ranging discussion on issues affecting hedge funds today.

U.S. hedge fund asks Tim Hortons to raise debt levels, buy back shares (TheRecord)
Another round of pressure is being placed on Tim Hortons Inc. (USA) (NYSE:THI) by significant shareholder Scout Capital Management, which wants the coffee and doughnut store operator to revamp its U.S. expansion plans and to raise debt levels to buy back shares. …Scout Capital praised Tim Hortons Inc. (USA) (NYSE:THI) as a “wonderful business” with an iconic brand and unparalleled customer loyalty in Canada, but said its returns to shareholders can be dramatically improved. The fund said it believed the company’s free cash flow could be doubled to $4.50 per share by 2015, which should result in the stock’s price rising to the range of $90 to $112. Tim Hortons Inc. (USA) (NYSE:THI) shares closed at $56.29 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, up $1.74 or 3.2 per cent. “Tim Hortons Inc. (USA) (NYSE:THI) is a very stable franchising business which enjoys predictable cash flow streams,” the letter said.

Hedge funds hope losing shorts on U.S. natural gas will pay off (FoxBusiness)
This year’s early rally in U.S. natural gas prices dealt heavy losses to hedge funds that stubbornly maintained short positions in the face of brutally cold weather, and the price slide of the past two months has not yet erased losses that prompted some investors to flee the funds, industry sources say. Sasco Energy, Skylar Capital and Copperwood Energy, funds founded by some of the most prominent names in gas trading, posted losses after misreading winter weather patterns in the first quarter that caused a spike in prices of gas used for heating, said the sources speaking on condition of anonymity.

SAC Probers Weighing ‘Willful Blindness’ Tack (WSJ)
U.S. officials are investigating whether hedge-fund titan Steven A. Cohen purposely avoided learning about alleged criminal activity at his firm and, if so, whether that behavior could form an element of any charges against him, according to people familiar with the matter. The legal tactic is one of many being considered by government investigators as they continue to examine trading patterns at SAC Capital Advisors LP, which was founded by Mr. Cohen in 1992and is one of the most prominent hedge-fund firms in the country. SAC is the subject of a long-running government investigation into alleged insider trading.

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