Lansdowne Partners’ latest short bet is against the largest German builder, HOCHTIEF AG (ETR:HOT) (FRA:HOT) and as Lansdowne’s charm usually works, shares are down over 8.6 percent since the position was disclosed on June 5. HOCHTIEF AG (ETR:HOT) (FRA:HOT) was recently downgraded by Berenberg Bank AG from Buy to Hold. The builder faces slowing business due to a slowdown in Australian construction and mining.
Take a look at Lansdowne’s $3 billion European short equity portfolio (no typo there)!
Lansdowne Strong Bets Against The Oil And Gas Sector
Lansdowne is also going strong in bets against the oil and gas sector, netting sizeable profits in almost every short in this sector.
Petrofac Limited (LON:PFC) is down 20 percent, as Lansdowne disclosed in a short last year. Petrofac provides solutions to the oil and gas industry. Over the past week Moody’s assigned a Baa1 rating to Pertofac with a stable outlook. The company also received an upgrade from Credit Suisse analysts. The oil and gas servicer expects reduced growth in FY2013 because its gas plant in Salah, Algeria was shutdown after an attack in the neighboring area. As of June 6, Lansdowne has bet $133 million against Petrofac Limited (LON:PFC).
Again disclosed last year, Lansdowne has a 2.1 percent short in Tullow Oil plc (LON:TLW). Shares are down 27 percent since November. Lansdowne’s bet is currently worth $304 million. Tullow Oil plc (LON:TLW) has received overweight ratings from Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse in the past week.
Ophir Energy Plc
Ophir Energy Plc (LON:OPHR) is down 35 percent since the fund disclosed a position in Nov 2012. Lansdowne’s short at 3 percent of Fresnillo Plc (LON:FRES) is roughly equal to $100 million which would have been worth approximately $135 million around November—it is very likely that the fund was shorting Ophir long before the EU made short position disclosures mandatory from Nov 1, 2012. In that event, the hedge fund could have netted a +40 percent gross profit.
Fresnillo Plc (LON:FRES) detracted by 22 percent since March when Lansdowne opened a short position. Although not an oil & gas miner, Fresnillo Plc (LON:FRES) is involved in exploration of silver and gold. Lansdowne made a very timely bet against this one, as Fresnillo declined when silver and gold prices plummeted in April. At 0.91 percent in Fresnillo, Lansdowne bet $110 million against the company. Shares of Fresnillo closed down 4.5 percent today, as gold hit a multi week low.
The Weir Group
The Weir Group PLC (LON:WEIR), although down 4.26 percent today, happens to be one of Lansdowne’s underperforming short bets. The company provides services to engineering, industrial and oil and gas sector. It is also one of the crowded shorts and many hedge funds have bet against the company. Since November, Weir has gained 30 percent, thus bringing suffering for all the shortsellers.
Notably, this short could become a hedge fund battleground as several funds have bet in favor of Weir Group. Previously this title was held by Ocado Group PLC (LON:OCDO). Pegasus Fund, up 26 percent through May, and Bramshott European, up 5.15 percent through April, both of which have long positions in Weir which has obviously performed very well for these funds.