For all the totally inexplicable facetime T2's Whitney Tilson gets on prime time financial comedy air, one would imagine that the man runs billions and billions. Instead, as per the just released 13F, Tilson's fund has a grand total of $345MM in long AUM as of March 31. So far so good, however that does not explain why the manager has a Sharpe ratio of roughly 0.00 in the past 3 years. Well, now we know: of the $345 MM total, a ridiculous $104 Million is in call options! In other words, not only is Tilson nothing but a bullish bet that copycats various other select hedge fund portfolios, it is a mega-levered one at that, with what appears ridiculously high theta! It get's worse: as it turns out, another $24MM or so is... in Warrants. Yup: all levered products without actually owning the underlying, leading to massive monthly swings in actual P&L. In other words, real assets held by Tilson amount to $217 Million. And one wonders why the fund can be up 20% one month and down 30% the next... or how Tilson can spend hours a day on TV.
The Athens Stock Exchange broad index of Greek stocks just dropped to its lowest level since 1992. It is now around 90% lower than its 1999 and 2007 peak levels. The index of Greek banking stocks is rumbling along the lowest levels on record down over 97% from its 2007 highs. Where is the Greek Whitney Tilson (or Dick Bove) when they need him?
Fidelity is happy to announce it has an opening for a new consumer discretionary analyst, because the current one, the one who recommended the firm's investment in Green Mountain, is now looking for a job. Fidelity's GMCR position , which as of 3:59 pm amounted to $1.13 billion, was minutes later trimmed by $445 million, after the company finally posted earnings (and we use the term loosely) which may have finally validated the David Einhorn (and every single skeptic's before) thesis on the name. Because while the earnings themselves came in line, it was the forecast that buried the company: specifically, its forecast of $885 million in Q2 revenue on expectations of $971.7 million, $3.92 -$4.05 billion in full year revenue on estimates of $4.32-$4.46 billion, as well as its 2012 EPS which were forecast to come at $2.40-$2.50 while the street was looking for 2.631 EPS. The result: the growth thesis is now over, and the growth premium has collapsed, with the stock plunging by 40% after hours.
I have to confess, I am tired of writing "structured" articles, the ones where I have to limit my thoughts to 800 words. So with this one I am taking a break. This is an unstructured stream of thought, in no particular sequence.
The most popular talking-head on financial TV (after Bill Miller and Byron Wien), Whitney Tilson, has not had a #winning year so far. In fact the simple pair trade Anti-Tilson (Long GMCR-Short Netflix which we closed when it returned 50% in just over a month), that was so popular last year, has been expanded to include his biggest shorts (as we promised yesterday). While we do not know weightings (obviously), on an equal-weighted basis from today's price, Tilson's 10 largest shorts have managed an impressive 7.37% gain on the year, handily outperforming his 15 largest longs which have managed a sub-market performance gain year-to-date of 1.45%. So being long Whitney's shorts and short the-ever-smiling manager's longs (on an equal weighted basis) would have made you around 6% year-to-date - considerably better than the +2.5% move in the S&P itself.
Whitney Tilson Calms Investors Following Abysmal Year By Telling Them He Has Lost Money Faster In The PastSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/10/2012 09:13 -0500
Grab a cup of coffee, find a comfortable chair, lean back, and prepare to be entertained: here is Whitney Tilson's Mea Culpa for "returning" -24.9% in 2011.
When at first you cover a soaring knife near its all time high, try, try again to catch it on the way down. And if you are Whitney Tilson, this is precisely what you do. The fund which is now down 25% YTD has lost 21.4% on its second round Netflix investment, something which Zero Hedge readers were on the other side of for the entire 50% pick in one month. But heaven forbid you learn a lesson: "A couple of weeks ago we sent you an article we published entitled “Why We’re Long Netflix and Short Green Mountain Coffee Roasters,” which is attached in Appendix B. Since then, both stocks have moved against us, making them even more attractive in our opinion." Lordy...
No circuit breaker was triggered as yet another unborn political career was dumped on the trash heap of history. And this even without a Muddy Water Strong Sell report, or Whitney Tilson going activist Cain nomination odds.
While being caught short stocks in the face of the global Bernanke Put, or long Chinese IPOs this year, it seems relative-value trades remain preferential from a risk-reward perspective. That is of course unless you are our old friend Whitney Tilson. The Anti-Tilson ETF (Long GMCR / Short NFLX) is up 8% today and stands at an impressive +43% (lifetime highs) in the 20 days since we recommended it. NFLX weakness this morning attributed to Wedbush's 30% downside target downgrade.
Because every market has two side: one which makes money... and Whitney Tilson. The anti-Tilson ETF (long GMCR, short NFLX) is now 40% since inception less than two weeks ago, and 3+% today alone. We don't see the levitation halting any time soon. We don't see the pain for T2 LPs moderating much either.
Our favorite trade since Friday, November 11, when Whitney Tilson went public with his short GMCR, Long NFLX theses, namely to do the opposite and Buy GMCR and Sell NFLX has now returned 40% in 6 days. And we don't even collect 2 and 20, nor do we organize hedge fund hotel symposia.
Anti-Tilson ETF Goes Ballistic: Netflix Plunges After Company Announces Equity Raise In Sheep's ClothingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/21/2011 17:34 -0500
When we discussed the slow motion trainwreck that is the implosion of Netflix back on October 11, our only outstanding question was "when is the inevitable follow on equity offering coming?" We have the answer, and it is now. Netflix just announced in an 8-K filing that it has raised $200 million in convertible notes. The conversion price is a laughable $85.80 or just 16% above the closing price translating into 2.3 million shares of additional dilution, confirming that this is nothing short of an equity raise in sheep's clothing (on the buyer's terms at that), and indicates that the firm may have well entered a liquidity death spiral courtesy of a business model that still has to generate any substantial free cash flow. Naturally, the second investors realize this they will dump the stock in droves, which is horrendous news for Whitney Tilson, but amazing news for everyone long the Anti-Tilson ETF. In other news, it may just be time for Tilson to call it a career.
While pervasive asset liquidations are dragging everything lower, stocks and gold included, one thing is doing amazingly well and is up over 7% intraday and nearly 36% in the past 5 days. The "thing" is, naturally, the Anti-Tilson ETF: the pair trade of being long GMCR (Tilson's vocal short) and short NFLX (Tilson's legendary flip flop). Just like theStreet did an amazing job of being the contrarian indicator du jour, so Tilson continues to be the market's most valuable (counter) indicator.
The last time Whitney Tilson decided to go public (on a completely unsolicited basis) with his investment thesis of short Netflix, the market took him to the toolshed leading to Tilson (as usual) underperforming the S&P by a ridiculous amount. This time around, with his very public announcement that he is now long NFLX and GMCR... things don't seem to be much different. We have created a CIX screen which is basically an anti-Tilson ETF: long GMCR (on the inevitable squeeze) and short Netflix on the billions in off balance sheet liabilities that somehow were missing from Tilson's thesis, and the result is...
Deja Vu All Over Again: An Unsolicited Whitney Tilson Explains Why He Is Short Green Mountain, Long NetflixSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/13/2011 22:27 -0500
The last time Whitney Tilson presented his "investing thesis" case in public, he got promptly anihilated as was to be expected - there is a reason why real hedge funds keep their positions secret. This time, "it will be different." Incidentally, it is not a hedge fund manager's job, no matter how tiny said hedge fund is, to plea to the broad investing public: it makes one appear like a petulant child. Their job is to outperform the S&P since inception: a task T2 still seems to find daunting...