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The Morning Brief: Two Tiger Cubs Take a Hit from Research in Motion; Appaloosa Turns 20

At least two Tiger Cubs took big hits Friday when Research in Motion stumbled. Shares of the Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry maker plunged nearly 28 percent after CEO Thorsten Heins reported disappointing results for the fiscal first quarter. Shipments of the new BlackBerry 10 were well below those of competing smartphones from Apple Corp. and even Nokia Corp., a company that has had its own problems with market share. At the end of the first quarter, O. Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Capital was the third largest shareholder in RIM, with more than 15 million shares. Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management was the ninth largest holder with more than 6.4 million shares. That puts Viking and Coatue at the top of the list of hedge funds to suffer from RIM’s misfortunes. However, the company was not a top-10 holding for either of the funds.

Rumors of the decline of the Japanese stock market are starting to look exaggerated. The Nikkei 225 index wound up the month of June down by less than 1 percent from May 31—although at one point the market was off about 8 percent for the month.


Activist investor Keith Meister, CIO of Corvex Management and former right hand man to Carl Icahn, has upped his stake in TW Telecom to 6.03 percent. Meister made his recent additions to the provider of managed telecom services through a series of options trades. Specifically, on June 27, Corvex exercised all of his call options to acquire more than 6.77 million shares. According to a regulatory filing, when Meister’s fund exercised the call options, all put options that had not already expired were terminated.


Fun Fact: July 1 is the 20th anniversary of David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management. Before he launched his multistrategy fund Tepper was a Goldman Sachs trader who was passed over for a partnership several times. In the past two decades Appaloosa has compounded at around 30 percent net.

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