Bill Ackman renewed his short attack on Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) today at the Robin Hood Investors Conference. While his presentation was closed to media, he later discussed it on Bloomberg TV. Most of what he said was old news, except for his snide remark at the age of Herbalife holders, "it is interesting that all people who are long Herbalife are 80 year old". Now that says something about Kyle Bass who jumped aboard team Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) in the last quarter.
More interesting hedge fund gurus are scheduled to speak today, including the activist Larry Robbins from Glenview Capital, Stanley Druckenmiller from Duqenese Family office, Paul Tudor Jones and Julian Robertson. Tiger cub John Griffin, who serves on the board of Robin Hood Foundation, will also share his best idea today.
Robin Hood Conference has all-star lineup
While we wait for more coverage of the event, it is a good time to look at what speakers from yesterday touted:
David Einhorn - Long Micron Technology
The co-founder of Greenlight Capital pitched long in Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) at the conference. Later he told CNBC that his reason for being bullish on Micron is the consolidation of the DRAM industry, He said that Micron Technology has come up as one of three main players in the sector, the other two being Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) and SK Hynix Inc (KRX:000660). Einhorn sees a lot of potential upside in the stock even though the shares are already up 200% this year.
Interestingly, as Einhorn pitched a long in Micron, BAML downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral today. Summit Research maintains a bullish rating on the company, seeing that demand will easily exceed supply in the next year. Susquehanna Financial Group raised the price target on Micron yesterday based on better than expected DRAM ASP trends.
Dan Loeb - Long Softbank
The aggressive activist known for writing stingy letters to company boards went long Softbank Corp (TYO:9984) (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) at the Robin Hood Conference yesterday. Loeb said he had built a $1 billion bet in the Japanese telecom and internet group, which amounts to a 1% position in the stock.
Loeb said that his long bet is meant to benefit from the large stake Softbank holds in Alibaba and Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S" target="_blank">NYSE:S). The Japanese company owns a 36.7% stake in Alibaba, which would surely give the company a major boost when Alibaba debuts on the market after its IPO.
Nomura raised their target price to JPY 8,920 in a report released yesterday; the firm has a Buy rating on the stock. The raised PT was based on increased earnings forecasts at Sprint and raised profit forecasts for Alibaba Group Holdings. The report went on to say,
We still think that Softbank will leverage its strengths in communications networks, handset distribution, and content on a global stage, thereby enabling it to outperform the market in share price terms.
Richard Chilton - Long W.R. Grace
Richard Chilton presented long case on W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA). Chilton said that he would not sell shares of W.R. Grace until the price hits $175-$200 - shares currently trade around $95. The company is Chilton's top holding according to the public portfolio.
While speaking to Bloomberg, Chilton said that he expects the company to return a lot of cash to shareholders in the coming period. He also said that GRA can trade at 18x forward earnings which would give it a share price of $175. Chilton intends to stay in the holding for the long term.
Take a look at Chilton's interview about W.R. Grace on Bloomberg TV.
Goldman Sachs rates W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) at Buy, and an analyst note released after GRA's Q3 earnings call noted,
"GRA’s 3Q2013 earnings report alleviated many investor concerns that there was 'another shoe to drop' in refining catalysts as EBIT slightly exceeded expectations and management guided for sequential improvement. While investor focus in recent quarters has mostly been on refining catalysts, we think the strong outperformance in all other GRA divisions should not be overlooked."
Meryl Witmer - Long Wyndham Worldwide
Meryl Witmer of Eagle Capital pitched long in Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE:WYN) at the conference. The company owns a chain of hotels and resorts and is a major player in the hospitality industry.
Witmer is a general partner at Eagle Capital and also serves on Berkshire Hathaway's board. JPMorgan rates Wyndham at Overweight, and the analysts note that lodging is Wyndham's strongest business. The company is also in the process of launching new yield management tools which will help it in European rental markets and will also allow it to move in new regions.