The Morning Brief: Blackstone Hedge Fund Falls 15 Percent

A multi-manager hedge fund named for the Esperanto word for “everlasting” has shed 15 percent this year through June, according to reports. Blackstone Group’s Blackstone Senfina Advisors, which manages $1.9 billion, lost 3.5 percent in June, steepening its losses for the year, according to a Bloomberg report. The fund, which lost 17 percent in February but posted gains in April and May, lost money betting that financial services and oil and gas stocks would rise in value and that basic materials and telecommunications companies would fall, the report said. The fund was one of the top-performing hedge funds last year, notching a 21 percent gain, according to Bloomberg. The fund allocates money to 11 different investment teams.


Paul Singer’s Elliot Management Corp. has taken an activist stake in Atlanta, Georgia-based home builder PulteGroup, several sources reported Thursday. Most reports put the stake at between 4 and 5 percent, with the New York Post reporting that Elliott had purchased 4.7 percent of the company. The move comes as PulteGroup founder William Pulte and his grandson have been critical of the company’s performance, especially relative to that of its peers as U.S. housing demand rises. The Pultes are pushing for the company’s current CEO, Richard Dugas, to step down. Dugas plans to retire in May of 2017, but stubbornly low share prices have led to calls for him to leave sooner. PulteGroup stock rose more than 5 percent Thursday, thanks in part to the Elliott stake and in part from a strong quarterly report. Investors also seem to be happy about the company’s decision to replace three of its directors, according to CNBC.


Deutsche Bank downgraded AthenaHealth, a healthcare management software maker, from buy to hold after the company reported revenues and earnings that missed Wall Street expectations. In a note to clients, Deutsche Bank said the revenue and earnings misses are “the least of our concerns,” adding that it’s hard to see how AthenaHealth can make its 30 percent annual growth target for the foreseeable future and that the case for investing in the stock “is now largely tied to growth from the inpatient market, where we believe meaningful success remains years away.” The stock is a high-profile short position of David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital.