by Suzy Waite, Nishant Kumar
With the biggest names in hedge funds about to gather for the annual Sohn London conference, it’s a good time to assess how their calls from last year fared during a boom time for global stocks.
From bullish bets on Euro Disney to shorting Australian banks, hedge funds made diverse calls at last December’s gathering. But it was the star traders’ long recommendations that proved to be the most profitable.
An investor betting an equal amount on each manager’s long idea would have seen a return of 19 percent -- more than the gains in the Stoxx Europe 600 and S&P 500 share indexes.
The best-performing long call was Ciam executive Anne- Sophie D’Andlau’s bullish forecast on Euro Disney. Although it made less than a third of the 300 percent she predicted, the shares soared after Walt Disney Co. announced plans to acquire the company in February.
The heaviest loss came from Michel Massoud’s bullish call on Opera Software ASA, whose shares fell amid a drop in revenue. That didn’t stop his Melqart Asset Management hedge-fund firm from returning 18 percent this year through October. Massoud declined to comment.
Shorts were less profitable in a market buoyed by quantitative easing. Four out of five bearish calls were more or less flat, the exception being Masroor Siddiqui of Naya Capital’s short on Aryzta AG. This ended up as a win as the Swiss baker’s shares tumbled amid concerns about lower earnings, rising debt and competition from the revamped Twinkie treat.
Speakers due to tout their investment ideas at this year’s conference at the Marriott Hotel in London on Thursday include oil trader Pierre Andurand; Paul Ruddock of Lansdowne Partners; and Pelham Capital founder Ross Turner.Read More