David Cohen and Harold Levy’s Iridian Asset Management revealed the sale of two major positions on Thursday. As disclosed in a 13G Form filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the investment firm shed 4.1 million shares of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE:WYN), thus exiting one of its previously largest holdings. In addition, the fund also sold 2.1 million common shares of Dresser-Rand Group Inc. (NYSE:DRC) stock.
Iridian Asset Management was founded by David Cohen and Harold Levy in 1996 and is currently headquartered in Westport, Connecticut. The firm’s aforementioned managers invest primarily in special situations, such as when depressed equities are experiencing significant changes. The employee owned investment firm boasts $13.3 billion in assets under management (as of June 2014) and has a 13F equity portfolio valued at around $9.7 billion. Although Iridian Asset Management’s equity portfolio is highly diversified, around 44% of its holdings stem from the information technology and the materials industry. According to the firm’s latest 13F filing, the stocks it was betting most heavily on were Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), Sealed Air Corp (NYSE:SEE), and SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK).
Following Iridian Asset Management’s sale of its entire stake in Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE:WYN), the company has lost the backing of one of its largest institutional investors. Nevertheless, some financial institutions remain bullish regarding the stock, such as First Eagle Investment Management, which holds a position of 1.9 million shares. Despite reducing its exposure by 20% during the third quarter, David E. Shaw’s D.E. Shaw & Co still maintains a large stake in the company, amounting to 1.6 million shares.
Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE:WYN) is a $10.5 billion market cap lodging company that offers numerous hospitality services in the U.S. and abroad. Its subsidiary Wyndham Hotel Group owns around 7,590 hotels, making it the largest hotel operator in the world. Thanks to its solid performance and optimistic outlook, the company’s share price hit a new 52-week high last Friday. Furthermore, the stock gained around 13% in 2014, while growing by almost 47% since January 2013. While the company was amongst Iridian Asset Management’s top five picks during the fourth quarter of 2013, the investment firm trimmed its exposure to the stock considerably at the beginning of last year, probably cashing in on its investment. Considering the equity’s growth over the past year, Mr. Cohen and Mr. Levy’s firm certainly benefitted from the recent sale of its remaining shares of Wyndham Worldwide.