This content is from: Portfolio

The Morning Brief: Casablanca, Cliffs Trade Barbs

Casablanca Capital fired off a press release responding to Cliffs Natural Resources’ response on Thursday to Casablanca’s announcement that it received endorsements from two prominent proxy advisory firms. “This is a desperate last-minute ploy by a self-interested board that will stop at nothing to keep its seats, maintain the status quo and prevent real change in our view,” states the hedge fund firm, which owns 5.2 percent of the mining company.

Jeffrey Smith’s New York–based activist firm Starboard Value cut its stake in Regis, a chain of hair salons, to 320,600 shares, or less than 1 percent of the total outstanding. 

Activist Lawrence Seidman, whose Parsippany, New Jersey–based firm Seidman & Associates specializes in banks, lifted his stake in Glen Allen, Virginia–based Franklin Financial to 8.21 percent. 

John Burbank’s Passport Global Strategy fund fell 4 percent in June alone, cutting its gain for the first six months to just 0.12 percent. The smaller Passport Long-Short Strategy Fund fell 2.50 percent in June, putting it down 0.30 percent for the year. Passport Opportunities was flat in June and up 11.62 percent for the year. The funds are run by San Francisco–based Passport Capital

Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors gained roughly 1.9 percent in June, putting it up 4.14 percent for the first six months, according to HSBC. The New York–based hedge fund manager told the Delivering Alpha audience that the stock market is currently fully valued. However, he still had no trouble singling out 12 stocks he currently likes.

Johnny de la Hey’s Tosca Fund lost nearly 1 percent in June, putting it down about 6.7 percent for the first six months. It is managed by London-based Toscafund Asset Management.

Deutsche Bank raised its target price on hedge fund favorite Google from $625 to $645. “Google is one of the only ‘mega-cap-tech’ companies growing north of 20 percent, while experiencing accelerating growth and stabilizing margin,” the investment bank tells clients in a note on Friday, noting that the shares are only trading at 20 times earnings. “Google is successfully transitioning its business from PC to mobile, and is arguably in a more favorable position in mobile than it was in PC, which should eventually be reflected in a higher multiple.”

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