Morning Brief: Half of All Hedge Funds Were Profitable Last Quarter

March marked a second straight month of losses for the average fund.


The chances that a hedge fund made money in the first quarter were similar to those of a coin flip. According to eVestment, 50.5 percent of all funds were in the black for the period, with credit managers and volatility funds faring best in March. Among hedge funds focused on developed markets, 53 percent made money in the first quarter, while 49 percent of developed market equity funds were in the black. Altogether, the average hedge fund fell 0.46 percent in March, marking a second straight month of losing money. This came after a 15-month streak of gains. For the quarter, the hedge fund aggregate was up a mere 0.03 percent. Various credit strategies were among the top performers for the quarter, according to eVestment. Managed futures were the worst performers over the three month period.


Barington Capital Group nominated two individuals for election to Xerium Technologies’ board of directors at the industrial manufacturing company’s 2018 annual meeting, according to a regulatory filing. The activist hedge fund firm headed by James Mitarotonda said its Barington Companies Equity Partners fund owns 4.38 percent of Xerium shares. One of the two nominees is Jared Landaw, Barington’s chief operating officer and general counsel. In the filing, the hedge fund said that Xerium’s “strong position in a highly concentrated market, as well as its attractive EBITDA margins and modest capital spending requirements, are not adequately reflected in the company’s current stock price.” The hedge fund said the company can “significantly improve long-term shareholder value” by taking a series of specific steps.


JANA Partners cut its stake in Bloomin’ Brands to 6.4 percent. On February 28, 2018, the activist hedge fund firm reached a cooperation agreement with the casual dining company best known for its Outback Steakhouse chain.