We have a feeling that times are turning around for shortsellers. The sell offs in major markets and unusual 100 point movements in benchmark indices like the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are giving off a distinct message that the rosy times of the first quarter are behind us. To the lament of shortsellers stocks with heavy short interest had reached new highs in the early part of this year. This could very well be a cyclical selloff but we have noticed a couple of companies whose shares have recently tumbled, thus finally giving some traction to their patient bearish bets. Take a look at all short positions in European ex-UK stocks.
David Einhorn Is Seeing Some Action In His European Shorts
Take Elekta AB (STO:EKTA-B)’s case, which is finally getting very near to giving back all of the gains it had gathered in the year—shares are up only 2 percent YTD. This is good news for short bets on Elekta AB (STO:EKTA-B) from famous hedgies like David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital, Maverick Capital and D.E Shaw. Elekta is involved in the production of medical technology equipments.
Another of David Einhorn’s shorts, FLSmidth & Co. A/S (CPH:FLS), provider of cement and minerals to construction companies, has been on the downhill road since the middle of May. Shares of the Danish company are down in excess of 21 percent since November of last year. Here again D.E Shaw and Maverick Capital are gaining side by side with David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital. Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital also has a short in FLSmidth & Co. A/S (CPH:FLS).
Moving on from David Einhorn…
A similar case is Wm. Morrison Supermarkets plc (LON:MRW), a London based grocery retailer which is a short bet of Lansdowne Partners and has wiped out its gains in the last few weeks. Shares of the retailer were up 13 percent until the first week of May but now have nearly given back all the gains, MRW is up a mere 0.19 percent YTD.
Successful Shorts In Finland
Finland has been a source of a lot of colorful short bets from famous U.S. and U.K. based hedge funds. Last year hedge funds placed bets against Sanoma Oyj (HEL:SAA1V), a media and publishing company. Shares fell around March 22 when the company updated its 2013 earnings guidance to reflect an expected decline of 2 to 4 percent in revenue compared to the previous year.
Axial Capital has disclosed a short bet in Sanoma Oyj (HEL:SAA1V) since November of last year and is down 20 percent since then. Axial Capital is managed by Eliav Assouline and is one of the funds that was seeded by Julian Robertson. Another who bet against Sanoma at the same time is AKO Capital. Another fund, GAM Investment also opened a short slightly later on March 28.
Hedge funds’ bigwig Adelphi Capital has maintained a short in Kesko Oyj (HEL:KESBV) (HEL:KESAV) which is a service provider in the trading sector. Shares of the company are finally 2.2 percent for the year after they started trading visibly lower in June. Adelphi European Fund with $1.1 billion is up 6.5 percent for the year until May, according to HSBC Hedge Weekly.