The Morning Brief: Hedge Funds Enjoy Best 12-Month Streak in Years

March 16, 2017   Stephen Taub


Data tracker Preqin reports that hedge funds are off to a much better start this year.

The Preqin All-Strategies Hedge Fund benchmark posted a 1.18 percent gain in February after climbing 1.43 percent in January. Remember, last year the global stock markets sank sharply for the first 1.5 months, putting many hedge funds in huge holes they never fully dug out from. The Preqin benchmark has produced gains in 11 of the past 12 months. In addition, its trailing-12 month gain of 13.63 percent is the highest since May 2013, when the 12-month increase was 13.76 percent.

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Melvin Capital disclosed it owns 2.5 million shares of Laureate Education, or 7.1 percent of the owner of for-profit universities and colleges. The passive position is new for the firm headed by Gabriel Plotkin. In a separate filing, Melvin disclosed it increased its stake in Thor Industries five-fold, to nearly 3 million shares. As a result, it now owns 5.5 percent of the manufacturer of recreational vehicles. Melvin was up 11 percent last year, making it one of the top-performing hedge funds headed by an individual who once worked for SAC Capital’s Steven Cohen.

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Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Holdings is down 2.8 percent for the month already through March 14. As a result, it is now down 2.1 percent for the year. Earlier this week Pershing Square Capital Management liquidated its entire huge stake in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.


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