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The Morning Brief: Barry Rosenstein’s Jana Partners Snarls at Petsmart

Barry Rosenstein’s Jana Partners says an anonymous tipster sent the hedge fund firm some embarrassing information about Petsmart, the Financial Times reports. Jana has a 10 percent stake in the pet supply retail chain and has been campaigning for Petsmart to go private. Now Jana is threatening to go public with the information, allegedly a management presentation and letter claiming Petsmart “missed internal targets” and was planning some short-term fixes that would ultimately be damaging to the company’s value.


Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, the company that is trying to take over Allergan, Inc. with help from William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management, has thrown a counter punch against a series of charges from Allergan. In fending off the hostile bid, Allergan filed suit against Valeant and Pershing Square in federal court on August 1, accusing the two of securities-law violations including insider trading. But the statement Valeant just posted on its website is a rebuttal to an August 5 press release from Allergan that was itself a reaction to Valeant’s July 31 earnings conference call. In the press release the Botox maker said, among other charges, that its unwanted suitor had mislead investors about sales of various products and that Valeant’s main business model was serial acquisitions rather than serious research and development. In its response, Valeant provided some sales data for the divisions in question and stressed that in the earnings call it “provided projections for two potential scenarios: a debt repayment scenario and an acquisition scenario.”


The 13F’s for the second quarter of 2014 are in, and has compiled a list of the ten stocks that showed up most often in hedge fund filings of their publicly listed holdings. Not a lot of surprises, but here are the ten most popular stocks among hedge funds, in descending order by how many hedge funds increased their exposure during the quarter: eBay, UnionPacific, Time Warner Cable, Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Priceline, Mastercard and Actavis.


Multi-strategy hedge funds were the top performers in July, gaining 0.32 percent, according to London-based data tracker Preqin’s July 2014 performance report. Event driven slipped for the month and came out as the worst performing strategy, losing 0.85 percent. Preqin puts activist strategies in a category of their own, however. Activist funds were in positive territory for July, gaining 0.32 percent for the month and 5.34 percent since the start of the year, making this the best-performing strategy year-to-date. CTA’s fared well for a strategy that has been in the doldrums, rising 0.19 percent in July and 2.03 percent year-to-date.

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