Several high profile hedge funds posted strong gains in
November and are outperforming the broader averages entering
the final month of the year. They are also beating the average
hedge fund, which lost 0.24 percent last month, according to
the Credit Suisse Liquid Alternative Beta Index.
|| Third Point's Daniel Loeb; Photo:
These include Ken Griffin’s multistrategy
funds, Kensington and Wellington, which gained 2 percent in
November. With that gain, the two flagship funds for
Griffin’s firm, Citadel, are now up 21 percent for
the year. Investors say the funds recorded gains in all
strategies the funds invest in, including equities, credit, and
energy, among other areas. In addition, Citadel’s
Global Equities fund gained 1.55 percent for the month and is
now up 16.7 percent this year through November.
For comparison, the S&P 500 was up 0.3 percent in
November and is up 12.6 percent for the year. The Nasdaq
Composite is up 15.5 percent for the year.
Dan Loeb’s $5 billion Third Point Offshore
Fund, managed by his firm, Third Point, netted a 2.9 percent
gain in November and is now up 19 percent for the year.
Loeb’s top five winners for the month were his
high profile bet on Greek government bonds, his activist stake
in Yahoo, and long positions in auto parts maker Delphi,
managed health care provider Aveta and Ally Financial, the
former GMAC. His five biggest losers were American
International Group, an undisclosed short position, long
positions in Apple and cable giant Liberty Global, and another
undisclosed short position. Entering December, Third
Point’s top positions were Yahoo, the Greek debt,
AIG, gold and Murphy Oil.
Among mid-size funds, Brett Barakett’s $1
billion Tremblant Partners, managed by Tremblant Capital Group,
rose 4.8 percent in November, pushing up its full-year gain to
14.2 percent. Tremblant Concentrated — which is
similar to the flagship fund but adds leverage to each position
— was up a very strong 6.3 percent in November and
18.9 percent for the year.
November gains were driven by long positions in Green
Mountain Coffee Roasters — a favorite and successful
short of David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital
— and Softbank, a Japanese telecommunications company.
Green Mountain has actually been a big winner all year for
Tremblant, which has benefitted from aggressively trading the
stock. It pared back its position in February when the stock
hit its peak and plowed back into the stock in May after Green
Mountain bottomed following its disappointing earnings
Other big gains this year came from Sprint; Melko Crown
Gaming, which is a play on the Macau gambling boom; Sodastream,
which makes soda machines; Dunkin Donuts; clothing retailer Ann
Taylor; and Fifth & Pacific, the former Liz Claiborne Inc.,
which owns fashion brands Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Jack Spade
and Lucky Brand Jeans.
Several hedge funds that are structured more conservatively
are having pretty decent years as well, even though they are
lagging the major indices.
For example, Dan Och’s OZ Master Fund, managed
by his multistrategy hedge fund firm Och-Ziff Capital
Management Group, eked out a 0.46 percent gain in November,
putting it up 10 percent for the year. The firm’s
OZ Europe Master Fund is up 8.10 percent for the year. Och Ziff
disclosed it had $32 billion in assets under management as of
December 1, which reflects a net increase of approximately $200
million since November 1, 2012.
Millennium Management founder Izzy Englander’s
two main funds are also plodding along this year. His
Millennium USA is up 6.10 percent, while Millennium
International is up 5.70 percent.
But his clients probably aren’t complaining.
Englander may not rank among the top performers this year, but
his investors are mindful that the funds were only down a few
percentage points in 2008, when many hedge funds lost 20
percent to 40 percent that year.