The Morning Brief: More Than 70 Percent of Hedge Funds Made Money in Q1

April 12, 2017   Stephen Taub

According to new data from eVestment, funds returned 2.63 percent on average for the first three months of the year.

More than 70 percent of hedge funds tracked by eVestment made money in the first quarter. However, this percentage slipped to 60 percent in March. Even so, this is still higher than the prior two-year average of 56 percent, according to a new monthly report from the hedge fund data scorekeeper. Altogether, hedge funds in its database rose by 0.33 percent in March and 2.63 percent in the first quarter, on average. They are up 8.48 percent over the trailing 12-month period. Interestingly, in March distressed hedge funds suffered only their first loss in 14 months.

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London-based macro fund firm Gemsstock is looking to raise $400 million, according to Reuters. If successful, this would bring total assets to about $1.2 billion. It had previously closed to new investors in June 2016. Gemsstock was up by double-digits in four of the past five years, including 12.4 percent in 2015 and 19.9 percent in 2016. It gained 3.7 percent in the first two months of this year.

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Credit Suisse raised its price target on Whole Foods from $36 to $40, one day after activist hedge fund firm JANA Partners and other individuals teamed up to take an 8.8 percent stake in the high-end grocery chain.

"The potential for activist involvement had provided downside support, but now the reality of outside influence dramatically changes the stock’s outlook for the better," the investment banker states in a note to clients. It stresses that part of its positive thesis on the stock in general is that "good brands don’t underperform forever."

It adds that Whole Foods has "superior brand value but has arguably been mismanaged as the company failed to adapt to the evolving food retail landscape." Shares of the company shed about 2.1 percent, closing at $33.46.


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