The Morning Brief: Marvell’s Miri Settles With SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission has nabbed another tech employee for tipping off a one-time Galleon Management portfolio manager with insider information. The SEC alleges that Sam Miri, who worked in the communications division at semiconductor maker Marvell Technology Group, provided confidential information about the company’s financial performance to Ali Far, who used the nonpublic information to trade Marvell securities on behalf of his hedge fund firm, Spherix Capital, which he founded after leaving Raj Rajaratnam’s Galleon. Far and Spherix were earlier charged in the ever-widening Galleon insider trading scandal. Far allegedly earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal profits thanks to Miri’s tips. Far is accused of making four quarterly payments to Miri totaling roughly $10,000. Miri agreed to pay more than $60,000 to settle the SEC’s civil charges and to be barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company.

Just when Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn thought his high profile short of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters was going to work out, shares of the K-Cup King surged more than 14 percent Thursday to close at $70.57. Interviewed on CNBC Thursday, Einhorn, who recently added to his Green Mountain short, reiterated his assertion that the company’s business is deteriorating and that over time his short “is playing out.” Until Thursday, the stock had been in steady decline since late August and is still off by 20 percent from its high.

On the other hand, shares of Micron Technology surged more than 6 percent after Einhorn said he was long the semiconductor stock at Thursday’s Robin Hood conference. Keep in mind that at the end of the third quarter, Micron was one of three stocks that accounted for nearly three-quarters of the $3.5 billion stock portfolio of Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group. Klarman had established a new $595 million stake in Micron in the second quarter. Also, Micron was among the five largest holdings of Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors at the end of the third quarter.

Shares of Sears Holdings fell nearly 3 percent to $59.93 after the has-been retailer reported a much larger third-quarter loss and chief executive Edward Lampert said he plans to sell more assets. On Thursday S&P Capital IQ repeated its Sell rating on the stock, stressing it still expects comparable store sales to decline this holiday season and the next fiscal year.

Tiger Cub Joho Capital disclosed a 6.5 percent passive stake in Veeco Instruments, an LED equipment maker. The New York-based hedge fund, headed by Robert Karr, specializes in investing in Japan, China, Korea, as well as other Asian and global markets.

Investors put more money into hedge funds than they redeemed in October, the fourth straight month of strong inflows, according to eVestment. Industry assets now stand at $2.802 trillion, close to its all-time pre-financial crisis peak. The data firm also found that equity hedge fund asset flows exceeded credit strategies for just the second month in 2013. Even so, assets flows into credit funds were positive for the twelfth straight month, although at a much lower level than most of the year.

Hedge fund administration firm SS&C GlobeOp announced that its forward redemption indicator for November shows notifications of 5.09 percent, way up from 3.36 percent in October. “In line with historical averages, redemption requests increased for the month of November, reflecting year-end investor rebalancing,” said Bill Stone, chairman and chief executive, SS&C Technologies, in a press release. SS&C GlobeOp’s data represents 10 percent of the hedge fund industry.