Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rosenstein's JANA Partners Shows New Stakes in Century Aluminum (CENX) and Thinkorswim (SWIM), Boosts AK Steel (AKS) Stake

Barry Rosenstein's JANA Partners released its 13F for the quarter ended June 30, 2008 the other day. Below are some notable moves:

- New 1,204,656 share stake in Century Aluminum (Nasdaq: CENX)

- New 1,012,800 shares stake in Genentech (NYSE: DNA)

- New 8,714,300 share stake in Talisman Energy (NYSE: TLM)

- New 2,344,493 share stake in Thinkorswim Group (Nasdaq: SWIM)

- Raised stake in AK Steel (NYSE: AKS) from 806,261 shares to 4,132,661 shares

- Raised stake in Commercial Metals (NYSE: CMC) from 2,890,314 shares to 4,511,248 shares

- Sold their entire 2,086,000 share stake in Wyeth (NYSE: WYE)

JANA Partners LLC is New York based hedge fund with about $8 billion in assets. The fund launched in April 2001 and is managed by founder Barry Rosenstein. The company primarily invests in the United States public equity markets and uses activist strategies, a market neutral strategy, a long/short equity strategy, and a risk arbitrage strategy while making investments.

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Elliott Associates Accumulates 9.9% Stake in Epicor Software (EPIC), Discloses Talks

In a 13D filing on Epicor Software (Nasdaq: EPIC), Elliott Associates disclosed a 9.9% stake (5,978,483 shares) in the company. Elliott disclosed that they have made inquiries of the company as to whether they have considered exploring strategic alternatives. They also reserve the right to hold further talks with management, the Board of Directors or others.

Epicor Software Corporation designs, develops, markets, and supports enterprise application software solutions and services.
Elliott Associates is a $9.8 billion New York-based hedge fund founded by Paul Singer. The fund has beaten the S&P 500 for 30 years. According to Bloomberg, sinces its launch in 1977, the fund has returned 14.7% a year after fees.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Breeden Capital Boosts Stake in Hill-Rom Holdings (HRC) to 5.25% - 13D

In a 13D filing on Hill-Rom Holdings (NYSE: HRC), Richard Breeden's Breeden Capital disclosed a 5.25% stake (3,278,409 shares) in the company. Which is up from the 2,478,618 share stake held at the quarter ended 6/30/08. A 13D indicates a possible activist investment.

In a pretty standard disclosure, Breeden didn't make any direct requests on the company, but said they will monitor the investment and may be in contact with members of management or the board or others about the investment.

Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. provides medical technologies and related services for the health care industry.

Breeden Capital is a Greenwich, CT-based hedge fund founded by Richard Breeden, a former SEC chief turned activist investor. Richard Breeden was elected as Chairman of H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) after successfully pushing for changes at the embattled tax preparer.

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Peltz's Trian Fund Shows Stakes in Hansen (HANS), P F Changs (PFCB); Says Goodbye to Starbucks (SBUX)

Nelson Peltz's Trian Partners General Partner released its 13F for the quarter ended June 30, 2008. Below are some notable moves:

- Showed a new 1,292,166 share stake in Hansen (Nasdaq: HANS).

- Showed a new 1,060,875 share stake in P F Changs Chinese Bistro (Nasdaq: PFCB)

- Showed a new 350,903 share stake in Philip Morris Intl (NYSE: PM)

- Lowered his stake in Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) from 842,070 to 0
Peltz also lifted his stake in Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT) to 31 milion shares and maintained his large 10 million share position in Tiffany & Co (NYSE: TIF).

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Carl Icahn's Icahn Capital Boosts Stake in MOT, Cuts TWC, Shows EMIS Stake

Carl Icahn's Icahn Capital hedge fund released its 13F for the quarter ended June 30, 2008. Below are some notable moves:

* Lifted his Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) stake from 115,649,600 shares to 144,119,843 shares

* Showed a new small 86,430 share stake in Emisphere Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: EMIS).
* Lowered his stake in Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) from 4,711,128 shares to 1,842,834 shares.
* Got rid of his 129,715 share Perry Ellis (Nasdaq: PERY) stake.
Icahn also showed a 55,029,056 share stake in Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO), were he has been appointed to the board after a takeover fight with Microsoft failed, among other moves.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Warrent Buffett Accumulates NRG Energy (NRG), Ingersoll-Rand (IR) and Union Pacific (UNP)

There were some important footnotes we left out of the 13F report for Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Here is a updated report. Some astute Seekingalpha.com members pointed out the issues.

- New 3,238,100 share stake in NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG)
- Raised stake in Ingersoll-Rand (NYSE: IR) from 936,600 shares to 5,636,600 shares. Footnote: Ingersoll-Rand bought another one of Buffett's stocks Trane (formerly TT), in a deal that was completed June 5th. Holders of Trane received a combination of $36.50 in cash and 0.23 Ingersoll Rand shares of common stock per each Trane share. Buffet held 10,901,900 Trane share at 03/31/08, so a portion of the increased IR stake (about 2.5M) is related to the buyout.
- Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) from 4,453,000 shares to 8,906,000 shares
Footnote: UNP split 2-for-1, so while Buffett's share went up it was only due to the split and his stake in the company remains the same.
- Lowered stake in Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) from 35,563,200 shares to 13,845,000 shares. NOTE: BUD agreed to be acquired by InBev, so there is likely no more upside in the stock.
- ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) lowered 17,508,700 shares to 0 shares.
Footnote: Confidential information on ConocoPhillips has been omitted from the Form 13F and filed separately with the SEC, so we don't know if Buffett raised his stake or lowered it.

Buffett maintained his position is large holding Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), which is worth nearly $9B. He also maintained his massive positions in Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) ($7.4B), Burlington Northern (NYSE: BNI) ($6.3B), American Express (NYSE: AXP) ($5.8B) and Kraft (NYSE: KFT) ($4.5B), among others.

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John Paulson's Paulson & Co Shows New Stakes In BofA (BAC) and Cheniere Energy (LNG), Among Others

John Paulson's Paulson & Co. released its 13F for the quarter ended June 30, 2008. Paulson is best know for making an estimated $3-$4 billion by betting against the US housing market. Below are his long positions. Many look like merger-arb trades, but there are some interesting tid-bits, like:

New 2,732,700 share Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) stake.

New 4,700,000 share Cheniere Energy Inc. (AMEX: LNG) stake.

New 1,900,000 share W-H Energy Services, Inc. (NYSE: WHQ) stake.

Raised stake in Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) from 79,382,600 to 84,000,000 shares.

Read the Full 13-F Summary Here

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Best Trade Ever - Ackman Scores Big on Longs Drug Stores (LDG)

Bill Ackman just scored a major win with Longs Drug Stores (NYSE: LDG) tonight. A few minutes ago, CVS (NYSE: CVS) announced that it would acquire the drug store chain for $71.50 per share, a significant premium to the $54.04 close.

On August 5th, Ackman's Pershing Square disclosed an 8.8% stake (3,137,659 shares) in the company. Ackman also has 5,296,896 notional shares underlying certain cash-settled total return swaps, bringing his total economic exposure to 8,434,555 shares of Common Stock (approximately 23.6% of the outstanding shares of Common Stock).

Ackman paid $136,609,962 for these positions. The total value of the shares Ackman controls, at the buyout price of $71.50, is worth $603,070,682.

As Ackman just started accumulating shares in late June and July in the $40 range, this is an amazing windfall for Ackman and may go down as one of the 'best trades ever.'

Bill Ackman's Pershing Square hedge fund is a long/short equity fund with an activist bent. Ackman holds large positions in Target (NYSE: TGT) and Borders (NYSE: BGP), among others. Ackman proved his acumen as a short seller in 2007/2008 as short positions he held in MBIA (NYSE: MBI) and Ambac (NYSE: ABK) proved to be big winners due to the credit crunch.

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Icahn Boosts Stake in Biogen Idec (BIIB) to 6% Following TYSABRI Sell-Off

In a 13D filing on Biogen Idec (Nasdaq: BIIB), Carl Icahn disclosed he raised his stake in the company to 6.03% (17,511,304 shares). This is up from the 9,948,723 share stake held at the quarter ended 3/31/08.

Icahn noted that his representatives have had, and from time to time may seek to continue to have, discussions with representatives of Biogen Idec to discuss general business issues relating to the Issuer as well as their concerns relating to shareholder value.

Icahn disclosed he paid $916,501,219 for the position, or about $52 per share. Shares of Biogen are currently at $50.76.

Shares of Biogen Idec sank 28% on 8/1 after disclosing two additional TYSABRI-relate PML cases. The filing showed, Icahn accumulated large sums of stock after that drop.

Carl Icahn is one of the most prolific activist investors in the market today. He has had mixed results lately, but a strong long-term track record.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cohen's SAC Capital Boosts Passive Stake in Incyte (INCY) to 6.4%

In a 13G filing on Incyte Corporation (Nasdaq: INCY), Steven Cohen's SAC Capital disclosed a 6.4% stake (5,458,605 shares) in the company. This is up from the 1,105,000 share stake held at the quarter ended 3/31/08. A 13G indicates a 'passive investment'.

Incyte Corporation operates as a drug discovery and development company, which focuses on developing proprietary small molecule drugs to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), diabetes, oncology, and inflammation diseases.

SAC is a multi-strategy, private asset management firm founded by Steven A. Cohen in 1992 with 9 employees and $25 million in assets under management. As of September 2007, the firm has grown to over 800 employees with approximately $14 billion in assets.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Highland Capital Boosts 'Passive' Stake in Capstead Mortgage (CMO) To 5.3%

In a 13G filling on Capstead Mortgage (NYSE: CMO), Highland Capital Management disclosed a 5.3% stake (2,828,409 shares). The firm held 2100954 shares at the quarter ended 3/31/08. A 13G indicates a passive investment.

Capstead Mortgage Corporation operates as a real estate investment trust. The company, together with its subsidiaries, invests in real estate-related assets on a leveraged basis that primarily consisting of residential adjustable-rate mortgage securities issued and guaranteed by government-sponsored entities.
Founded in 1993, Highland Capital Management, L.P. is a leading investment management firm specializing in alternative investments with approximately $40 billion under management. A privately held registered investment advisor, the firm is a recognized leader and innovator in the credit and structured products markets. Highland is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has offices in New York and London.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Ackman's Pershing Square Builds 8.8% Stake in Longs Drug Stores (LDG)

In a 13D filing on Longs Drug Stores (NYSE: LDG), Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital hedge fund disclosed an 8.8% stake (3,137,659 shares) in the company and noted they have hired advisors and may meet with management or others regarding the business.

From the Filing:

"Representatives of the Reporting Persons may in the future meet with management of the Issuer, other stockholders of the Issuer or other relevant parties to engage in discussions that may include matters relating to the strategy, business, assets, operations, capital structure and/or financial condition, governance, management, strategic plans of the Issuer, and future plans of the Issuer... The Reporting Persons have engaged advisors and may engage additional advisors."

Bill Ackman's Pershing Square hedge fund is a long/short equity fund with an activist bent. Ackman holds large positions in Target (NYSE: TGT) and Borders (NYSE: BGP), among others. Ackman proved his acumen as a short seller in 2007/2008 as short positions he held in MBIA (NYSE: MBI) and Ambac (NYSE: ABK) proved to be big winners due to the credit crunch.

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