This content is from: Portfolio

The Morning Brief: Herbalife Shares Rally on Wednesday

Shares of Herbalife rebounded sharply on Wednesday, rising more than 4 percent, to close at $31.72. Even so, the stock, a high profile short position for William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management, is down about 15 percent this year alone.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday CNBC reported that Paul Sohn, described as “the chief architect” of George Soros’ bullish bet on the multi-level marketer, has left Soros Fund Management, the New York-based family office for the legendary octogenarian investor. “Paul Sohn’s departure is unrelated to any position the firm may have or has had in Herbalife,” Michael Vachon, a spokesman for Soros, said in an email to CNBC. The stock also fell more than 50 percent in 2014.

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Activist investor Lawrence Seidman, whose Parsippany, New Jersey-based hedge fund firm Seidman & Associates specializes in banks, bought an additional 86,000 shares of Prudential Bancorp, lifting his stake to 6.90 percent. The Philadelphia-based holding company for Prudential Savings Bank has seven locations.

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Deutsche Bank raised its price target on Family Dollar Stores from $55 to $58. However, it retained its “hold” rating. The investment bank said it expects the discount retailer to report “below consensus” earnings when it announces its latest quarterly results before the stock market opens on Thursday.

“We will be looking for color on the quarter that could also provide broader positive implications for peers” Dollar General and Dollar Tree, the investment bank states in a note to clients. New York-based Trian Fund Management is the largest Family Dollar shareholder, while four other hedge funds are among the top-10 holders. They include New York-based firms Paulson & Co., Och-Ziff Capital Management and Elliott Management Corp. and Boston-based Highfields Capital Management.

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Shares of Micron Technology Wednesday fell more than 2 percent after it reported mixed results late Tuesday. As we previously reported, two of its largest investors are Boston-based Baupost Group and New York-based Greenlight Capital. On Wednesday, Deutsche Bank reaffirmed its commitment to the stock, maintaining its $40 price target and “buy” rating, noting it is “attractively valued” trading at 9 times earnings.

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The Credit Suisse Liquid Alternative Beta Index posted a 0.28 percent gain in December, bringing its full-year return to 3.60 percent. Little surprise, managed futures led the way, gaining 3.51 percent in December and 15.77 percent for the year. The long-short equity strategy was the second best performer, gaining 8.45 percent for the year. The LAB indices try to replicate the aggregate return profiles of hedge fund strategies using liquid, tradable instruments.

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Jamie Raboy, global head of risk management at Marathon Asset Management, was promoted to partner at the firm. New York-based Marathon manages about $12.5 billion in assets invested in corporate and global credit, structured credit, emerging markets, leveraged loans and CLOs. Marathon’s existing partners include founders Bruce Richards and Louis Hanover as well as Andrew Rabinowitz, Richard Ronzetti, Jake Hyde, Stuart Goldberg, Andy Springer and Gabriel Szpigiel. Raboy joined Marathon at its inception in March 1998. He also serves on Marathon’s executive committee.

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