Tiger cub Andreas Halvorsen, co-founder and CEO of Viking Global Investors, called his returns for the first quarter mediocre, according to sources of Institutional Investor’s Alpha. Despite gains on Viking’s long/short equity fund that were better than several competitors, Halvorsen was not thrilled. The flagship fund, Viking Global Equities, was up 5.2 percent in the first quarter of the year. Viking Global Equities manages an estimated $16 billion. The Viking Long Fund which managed $3.4 billion as of Dec 2012, was up 10.1 percent in the first three months of 2013. The long-only fund’s performance is at par with the return on S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) in the same period.
The Q1 letter also intimated that the Viking Long Fund is closing to new investments for the time being. Previously Viking Global Equities was closed to new investors in December 2011.
Viking Global has been doing great in its long portfolio but apparently has lost on the short side. This is a constant theme that has prevailed among other hedgers as well, as the overdrive in the U.S. equity market has made shortselling harder in the new year. We posted information from Karsch Capital last week and the returns told the same story, long portfolio outperformed while shorts lagged. The long portfoilo of Viking Global Equities gained 12.2 percent while the short portfolio was down 9.2 percent.
According to our tracking of short positions, Viking Global has disclosed a short in Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) and shares were down 7 percent in first quarter. Another short position of Viking is in K+S AG, a German holding company which deals in the chemicals sector, and Assicurazioni Generali SpA (BIT:G), an Italian insurance company. As the ten largest shorts make up 20.5 percent of Viking Global Equities’ AUM, these shorts in European equities make up a very small portion of Viking’s entire L/S portfolio. The firm lost in its shorts in IT and healthcare in the first quarter.
Andreas Halvorsen also ranks among Institutional Investor’s Alpha Rich List at No.21. The list ranks the top 25 hedge fund managers with the highest earnings in 2012. Halvorsen, along with a string of other so called tiger cubs have populated the latest ranking of top earning managers. Chase Coleman from Tiger Global, Philippe Laffont from Blue Ridge Capital and Robert Citrone from Discovery Capital also rank on the same list.
Viking Global’s largest long positions are in Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG), Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN) and The Swatch Group Ltd. (VTX:UHR (SWX:UHRN).