Apr. 24, 2014, 4:20 PM
Apr. 9, 2014, 6:55 PM
- While much of the attention in recent weeks has been on high-flying momentum stocks falling back to earth, there’s also been a big rally among many of the stocks with largest short positions.
- Rallies in heavily shorted stocks are being driven by hedge funds pulling back on all their stock positions, so as bullish positions in high-growth stocks have been ditched, short positions have been closed out as well.
- Among the top 10 most shorted stocks, seven have rallied over the last month - with four up by double-digit percentages - even as the S&P 500 has dropped 0.8%: GameStop (GME, +11.5%), US Steel (X, +13.9%), Joy Global (JOY, +7.2%), ADT (ADT, -0.9%), VeriSign (VRSN, -8.6%), Essex Property Trust (ESS, +0.6%), Quest Diagnostics (DGX, +13.1%), Microchip Technology (MCHP, +2.8%), Western Union (WU, -1.9%), Frontier Communications (FTR, +13.6%).
Apr. 9, 2014, 2:02 PM
- The NYT reports leading domain name registrar Go Daddy (best known for its colorful Super Bowl ads) has hired JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley to handle an IPO that could occur later in 2014.
- Go Daddy was acquired by P-E firms KKR and Silver Lake, and VC firm TCV, for $2.25B in 2011. In addition to domain name registrations, the company offers Web hosting, site design, and SSL certificate services. Rivals include VeriSign (VRSN) and WIX.
- The company hired former Yahoo product chief Blake Irving to be its CEO in 2012, and has been trying to develop a more corporate-friendly image.
Mar. 17, 2014, 9:43 AM
- VMware (VMW +2.2%) has been started at Buy by Monness Crespi.
- SAP (SAP +2.2%) has been upgraded to Buy by Citi.
- VeriSign (VRSN -8.8%) has been cut to Market Perform by Cowen. The downgrade comes as the NTIA announces it will relinquish control of the Internet's domain name management system to an international body. VeriSign insists the move won't affect its operation of the .com and .net registries.
- CommVault (CVLT +3.3%) has been upgraded to Buy by Mizuho.
- RingCentral (RNG +4.5%) has been started at Outperform by William Blair.
- NetScout (NTCT +0.1%) has been cut to Neutral by D.A. Davidson.
- RPX (RPXC +3%) has been started at Outperform by Cowen.
- Cadence (CDNS +1.4%) has been started at Overweight by Piper.
Mar. 17, 2014, 9:09 AM
Feb. 7, 2014, 5:57 PM
- Though Verisign (VRSN -4.9%) beat Q4 estimates, the company guided on its CC (transcript) for 2014 revenue of $1B-$1.02B; the midpoint is slightly below a $1.02B consensus. The domain name registrar/site authentication provider also guided for a 2014 op. margin of 58%-60%; that compares with a 2013 level of 58.5% (up 230 bps Y/Y).
- Citing margin growth concerns, Citi's Walter Pritchard has cut shares to sell. "Margin surprises had been a driver of the stock and investors continue to expect this ... However, margins appear to be approaching a ceiling."
- In tandem with its results, Verisign has announced it will repatriate $700M-$800M worth of cash in Q2 or Q3 in "a tax-efficient manner" by leveraging a $375.3M income tax benefit it recorded in Q4 related to the liquidation of a domestic subsidiary.
- The company also says its board has approved increasing Verisign's buyback by $528M to $1B (good for repurchasing 14% of shares at current levels).
- Verisign's deferred revenue rose by $43M in 2013 to $856M, and the number of active .com/.net domain names handled by its registry business rose 5% to 127.2M.
Feb. 7, 2014, 5:38 PM
Feb. 6, 2014, 4:09 PM
Feb. 6, 2014, 12:10 AM| 4 Comments
Feb. 5, 2014, 5:35 PM| 2 Comments
Nov. 25, 2013, 3:55 PM
- Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), and AIG are the most popular (long) holdings of hedge funds, according to Goldman's latest hedge fund monitor, which analyzed the positions of 783 hedge funds with $1.7T of gross assets. Hedge fund holdings of AIG, however, account for 14 of the company's float compared to negligible amounts for Apple and Google.
- The 20 most concentrated hedge fund holdings as defined by the percent of equity cap owned by the funds has consistently been a significant outperformer, according to Goldman. In order: AN, STZ, JCP, FDO, THC, HRB, BEAM, MU, NWSA, VRSN, CBG, NFLX, GT, TSO, ETFC, MSI, WPX, WYN, HES, CCI. The top 20 last quarter is here.
- Overall, the studied hedge funds' performance leaves a bit to be desired, with average return of 6% YTD. Fewer than 5% outperformed the S&P 500, and 20% of funds posted an absolute loss.
Nov. 14, 2013, 4:50 PM
- Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) takes a new 40.1M-share position in Exxon Mobil (XOM), apparently enough to make Warren Buffett's conglomerate the 6th-biggest holder of XOM shares. (13F)
- Berkshire also added to existing stakes in Bank of New York (BK), DaVita Health Care Partners (DVA), Suncor Energy (SU), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and VeriSign (VRSN); stakes were lowered in ConocoPhillips (COP), DirecTV (DTV), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi (SNY).
- XOM +0.7% AH.
Oct. 24, 2013, 4:23 PM
Aug. 21, 2013, 9:32 AM
- AIG remains the "king of the hedge fund castle" writes ValueWalk, as Goldman's latest Hedge Fund Monitor shows 69 funds have the stock in their top 10 holdings as of June 30, ahead of #2 Google (GOOG) at 65 and #3 Apple (AAPL) at 50. The percent of equity cap owned by hedge funds is 14% for AIG, as opposed to negligible amounts for both Google and Apple.
- Based on percent of equity cap owned by hedge funds, Charter Communications (CHTR) is the #1 hedge fund hotel at 37%. Among S&P 500 stocks, J.C. Penney at 36%, Constellation Brands (STZ) at 30% and H&R Block (HRB) at 26% lead the way. The average for the entire S&P 500 is 5%.
- Goldman's basket of 20 "Most concentrated" hedge fund stocks has outperformed the S&P 500 by nearly 1200 bps YTD. Since 2001, the strategy has outperformed the S&P 69% of the time and by an average of 263 bps per quarter. In addition to the earlier-mentioned names there's: AN, VRSN, FDO, THC, CBG, GT, NFLX, TRIP, LYB, WPX, MSI, BEAM, DLTR, ZTS, WYN, LM, ETFC.
Aug. 15, 2013, 6:20 AM| 4 Comments
Jul. 25, 2013, 4:41 PM
VRSN vs. ETF Alternatives
VeriSign Incis a provider of domain name registry services and internet security, enabling internet navigation for many of the world's recognized domain names and providing protection for websites and enterprises around the world.
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