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Hedge Funds Hold Steady During Volatile April

April was a turbulent month for the markets, but a number of hedge fund managers minimized their losses, while some even eked out a small gain.

Most hedge fund managers were able to squeeze out a little profit or at least minimize their losses in April, a volatile month for the global equity markets in general after an especially strong first quarter. The S&P 500 lost about 0.8 percent in April.

Not surprisingly, Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global was among the top performers for the month, posting a 1.7 percent gain. This lifted the full-year gain to 15 percent for the Tiger Cub and seed, who has benefited from successful Internet longs and shrewd shorts.

Ken Griffin’s Citadel also posted a gain for the month, rising 0.80 percent. This puts his two main funds — Kensington and Wellington — up about 9.25 percent for the year. The returns have been driven, in part, by strong gains from equities, say those knowledgeable about the results.

Dan Och of Och-Ziff, who takes more of a conservative approach to investing than many other multistrategy managers, also eked out a small gain in his biggest fund. OZ Master fund rose 0.35 percent for the month and 5.05 percent for the year.

His OZ Europe Master fund was flat for the month while his Asian fund lost 0.68 percent in April.

Dan Loeb’s four Third Point funds were either flat or slightly up or down for the month. For the year, Third Point Ultra is up by 10.1 percent while his other three funds are up between 5.9 percent and 6.9 percent.

In April, Third Point Offshore fund, a feeder fund, generated its biggest gains from Yahoo, which is a target of a Loeb proxy fight, Portuguese sovereign bonds, Volkswagen, Lehman Brothers Holdings, which emerged from bankruptcy in the first quarter, and Ally Financial.

Its current five biggest holdings are Apple, gold, Delphi, Norway’s Eksportfinans and Yahoo.

David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital fared worse than the overall market in April, dropping between 1.9 percent and 2.1 percent in his five funds. This put him up between 4.6 percent and 5.2 percent for the year.

But keep in mind that these figures do not take into account the big collapse in the shares of Green Mountain, his celebrated short since he went public with it last October at an investor conference. The coffee distributor announced on Wednesday that sales in the future will be much slower than in the past, taking some investors by surprise and knocking down the stock by nearly one half of its value.

Meanwhile, shares of Herbalife are down about 31 percent in the first three days in May after Einhorn aggressively drilled management earlier in the week during an earnings conference call with investors. It is not clear whether he is short or long or even has a position in the stock.

Brevan Howard’s Macro fund, one of last year’s top performers, has been struggling somewhat during the global stock market’s rally so far this year. Through Friday, April 27, it was down about 0.50 percent for the month, barely putting it in the black for the year.

In March, when the fund suffered a similar loss, Brevan Howard told investors in its monthly letter that the fund incurred small losses predominantly in macrotrading in foreign exchange and commodities, which were partially offset by small gains in credit trading.

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