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Hedge Fund News: Leon Cooperman, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ:DRYS), Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)

Hunter College gets $25 million gift (WSJ)
Hunter College has received a $25 million gift from Toby and Leon Cooperman. The gift will be split between a scholarship program and the college’s library. Leon Cooperman is chairman and chief executive of Omega Advisors, a New York hedge fund. Toby Cooperman recently retired from a career as a special-education specialist at the Early Childhood Learning Center in Chatham, N.J. The couple graduated from the school in 1964. Cooperman told The Wall Street Journal (http://on.wsj.com/19Ubixo ) that they’re grateful to Hunter for a first-class education. He majored in chemistry, she in history — for $24 a semester. The college is part of the City University of New York system.

OMEGA ADVISORS

Hedge fund interest increasing in Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) (NYSEPost)
The stock of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) had recently proved to be one of the most popular stocks discussed in the markets. In addition, the hedge fund activities on the stock had also proved to be sending signals of optimism to the investors by the end of the second quarter. It had been observed that there were totally 17 hedge funds which had long positions in this stock by the end of the quarter, which was observed to be around 21% higher than the previous quarter. Further, there had also been heavy increase in investments made by certain hedge fund managers in this stock in the recent quarter.

Hedge Funds Make Apple Top Pick as Main Street Sticks with Google (TheStreet)
Hedge funds have made Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) their top stock holding, surpassing Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) remains the top holding among mutual funds. Apple narrowly beat out Priceline and iPhone supplier QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) for first place among hedge fund holdings, as of second-quarter data, according to a Monday analysis be Citigroup equity strategists. Google, meanwhile, retained its leading position among the 50-biggest actively managed mutual funds, the report said. The iPhone and iPad maker’s popularity among hedge funds comes as managers such as David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital and Carl Icahn of Icahn Associates press for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to pay out its cash stockpile to shareholders by way of dividends and share repurchases.

Hedge fund activity seen in DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ:DRYS) (NYSEPost)
The price charts of DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ:DRYS) had been presenting trends for a major breakout in the recent days which had proved to be of heavy attraction to the stock. Further, the Shipping Index had also been presenting possibilities for high level of movements in the near future. It is thereby expected that the shipping companies would effectively benefit in the near future provided the global economic recovery occurs. Further, there had also been hedge fund movements in the stock which prove to ascertain the possibilities for bullish trend in prices.

20 Stocks Under The Control Of Hedge Funds (BusinessInsider)
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) recently released its new “Hedge Fund Trend Monitor,” giving clients a glimpse into the investment moves and strategies by 708 of the world’s biggest funds. In the report, Goldman lays out the 20 most “concentrated” stocks, meaning a large share of their market capitalization is owned in aggregate by hedge funds. In upward trending markets, buying these 20 stocks has been a successful strategy. …The “most concentrated” stocks lagged for most of 2007 and 2008, but significantly outperformed in 2009 (81.4% vs. 26.5%) and 2010 (15.9% vs. 15.1%). Our “most concentrated” basket underperformed the S&P 500 by 391 bp in 2011 (-1.8% vs. 2.1%) but outperformed by 814 bp in 2012 (24.1% vs. 16.0%).

Right on cue, hedge fund ‘vultures’ are circling Detroit (MLive)
The hedge fund “vultures” that had been setting their sights on Detroit as it slid toward bankruptcy are now circling above its financial carcass. In May, before Detroit filed for federal protection under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code, Reuters reported that several hedge funds had begun eyeing the city to invest in some of its debt at firesale prices. Now, it appears the hedge funds are closing in, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. …”The opportunistic investors are looking to gamble by acquiring some of the city’s distressed debt, sources said. They hope to turn a quick profit when Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr and bondholders reach a settlement in the future.”

Hedge fund rules absent in 16 EU states (FT)
The EU’s move to clamp down on the buccaneering ways of hedge funds and other alternative investments is in disarray with the majority of member states failing to implement the necessary rules on time, research shows. The failure of 16 of the 28 EU states to hit the July 22 deadline for the alternative investment directive raises the spectre of fund companies in non-compliant states being forced to halt alternative fund sales to certain countries or risk falling foul of their regulators.

Mad Money, August 23, 2013 (CNBC)

Falcone, a hedge fund king humbled (TheSundayTimes)
PHILIP FALCONE peered through the tiny round frames of his glasses and craned his neck toward the microphone. “I was the youngest of nine kids who grew up in a threebedroom home in a working-class neighbourhood,” he began. “My father was a utilities superintendent who never made more than $15,000 a year, while my mother worked in the local shirt factory.

Does Hedge Fund Activism Actually Help Companies? (WallStCheatSheet)
From Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), activist hedge funds have been in the news recently. Activists purchase minority blocks in target companies and are able to intervene in various firm policies. Critics say that intervention hurts companies in the long run and that activist hedge funds are only out for short-term profits. A recent paper from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business’s Alon Brav, Harvard Law School’s Lucian Bebchuk, and Columbia Business School’s Wei Jiang proves the critics wrong. The study, “The Long-Term Effects of Hedge Fund Activism“, shows companies’ performance improves, on average, subsequent to activists’ involvement.

Ballmer Exit Another Sign Of Growing Influence Of Activist Investors (Forbes)
It increasingly looks like Steve Ballmer’s decision to quit as Microsoft’s chief executive by announcing he would retire within the next year represents another big scalp for activist investors who have taken the financial markets by storm. Reporting about what happened in Redmond, Wash., last week suggests that Jeffrey Ubben and his ValueAct hedge fund played a fundamental role in the events that have led to a management change at the top of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). The Seattle Times reported that ValueAct pressure may have played role in Ballmer leaving, citing Nomura Securities analyst Rick Sherlund, who said that the board of directors was threatened by a potential proxy fight from ValueAct that would have put a spotlight on a decade of problems at the software giant.

How Bad Hiring Decisions Can Mess Up a Good Business Strategy (Linkedin)
This is not a story about Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook or Carl Icahn, although they all help to make the point that business strategy is often overlooked when making critical hiring decisions. Hiring people who aren’t naturally driven by the same business needs, no matter how brilliant or capable, can often take a company off-course. So can activist investors. …In an earlier post I suggested that there were only four jobs in the world and four types of people. Putting a good person in the wrong job is a recipe for under-performance and dissatisfaction. Here’s the quick summary of the four work types: Thinkers: these are the people who come up with new ideas, new products and new ways of thinking about processes, people, and tasks.

Rupee not undervalued, government ‘brain-damaged’: Marc Faber (NDTV)
On a day when the rupee continued its downward spiral, falling more than one per cent, Swiss investor and editor of the ‘Gloom, Boom & Doom’ report Marc Faber countered Finance Minister P Chidmabaram’s statement from last week that the rupee is undervalued. “If someone says that rupee is undervalued we have to put in the proper perspective, maybe in some sectors of the economy the rupee is undervalued but I don’t think the rupee is undervalued if you look at the prices of high-end luxury Mumbai properties,” Mr Faber said. Mumbai property prices are amongst the highest in world, he added. The rupee last week fell to an all-time low of 65.56, and has lost nearly 15 per cent in the last three months.

Italy ‘faces financial storm’ over Berlusconi (Google)
Instability in Italy over Silvio Berlusconi’s future could trigger early elections next year and punish the country on the financial markets starting this week, a top US economist warned on Monday. Nouriel Roubini, who teaches at New York University, said in an interview with La Repubblica daily that Italy, the eurozone’s third-biggest economy, was currently in a period of “controlled volatility”. He said that “if the situation worsens, which now seems hardly impossible, the consequences could be very damaging for Italy,” and warned that investors could start reacting negatively from this week.

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