The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)’s bottling company has attracted a couple of big-name shortsellers in the hedge fund industry. Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co SA (NYSE:OCCH) (LON:CCH) has been disclosed as a short position of both Adelphi Capital and Odey Asset Management, according to UK recent regulatory filings.
Adelphi Capital, which is among the largest hedge funds in Europe, is currently short 0.5% of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co SA (ADR) (NYSE:OCCH)’s shares. Crispin Odey’s long/short equity hedge fund has also established a 1.02% short in the company. Filings made with U.K’s financial conduct authority reveal that both hedge funds opened the short positions last week, but the disclosures were made public in this week.
Shares of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co SA (ADR) (NYSE:OCCH) are down 22% for the year.
European hedge funds short Hellenic Bottling Company
Adelphi Capital, founded in 2007, is not doing so well this year. Its flagship, Adelphi Europe Fund is down 1.5% YTD through April 17, according to HSBC Hedge Weekly. Adelphi’s smaller allocation is doing even worse, the Emerging Europe Fund has suffered a loss of 8.9% in the same period. However both of Adelphi’s funds did well in 2013 and managed a 17-20% return.
Odey Asset Management has a number of shorts disclosed in the U.K, the latest in HBC amounts to $50 million. Odey European, the flagship long/short equity fund, was down 4.6% in Q1 after a 7% decline in March.
Deteriorating macros all around for Coca-Cola HBC
In recent weeks, most analysts have issued negative reports about the company in which they slashed their price-targets and reduced ratings. In Coca-Cola HBC’s Q1 earnings, the company reported lower than expected volumes (down 4%) and higher costs due to forex headwinds. Late Easter and regional instability in some countries was one of the reasons for Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co SA (ADR) (NYSE:OCCH)’s bad start to the year. The company missed estimates by the widest in established markets where it reported a loss of 7.3 million euros compared to the consensus estimate of 15.9 million euros in profits. HBC’s volume declined throughout the European region except in Greece where it rose for the first time in four years. Net loss for the quarter came up to 35.8 million euros. Despite of the difficult quarter, the company has maintained its FCF of 1.3 billion in 2013-2015 and capex of 5.5-6.5% of sales in the medium term.
Nearly all analysts believe that there are few near-term catalysts that could drive up sales in the coming quarters. Societe Generale noted that the company is under strain in Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic, where it is facing pressure from hard discount retailers. SG also pointed out that HBC’s sharp decline in the established markets segment came at a time when its competitors have been showing improved trends. Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co SA (ADR) (NYSE:OCCH)’s volume rose by high single digits in Russia, but the conflict with Ukraine is bound to put strain in the company’s largest volume market in future.