Ira Sohn Conference Summary Highlights And Investment Picks

While the hedge fund world finds itself in a time of crisis, with a "great rotation" of capital away from active management which continues to largely underperform the broader market, and toward cheaper, passive strategies, nothing could spoil the mood at one of the industry's biggest events held today at the Lincoln Center, the 22nd annual Ira Sohn conference, where a dozen of the hedge fund industry's most prominent names presented their best ideas.

Below is a summary of the hedge fund managers who spoke at the Sohn Conference in order of appearance, and the investment ideas they presented, courtesy of Reuters and Bloomberg.

Corvex’s Keith Meister:

  • Bullish on CenturyLink; Reported 5.5% stake in 13-D today; Corvex’s largest position
  • Said CenturyLink/Level 3 merger is gamechanging

Fine Capital’s Debra Fine:

  • Recommends DHX Media; sees upside to C$20-C$30/share;

Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman:

  • Reiterated his Howard Hughes Corp. long call
  • Said South Street seaport is highly valuable citing tax efficiency and excellent locations.

Social Capital’s Chamath Palihapitiya:

  • Bullish on Tesla 2022 convertible bonds
  • Said there is "incredible opportunity" in the 2022 Tesla converts that the company could capture 5% of the global car market and be worth hundreds of billions of dollars

Algebris’s Davide Serra:

  • Recommends shorting U.K. rates, warning of UK inflation and said that is one reason bonds are overvalued; also said Brexit will cost 7% of UK GDP over the next 8 years.
  • Llikes UniCredit shares

Blue Harbour’s Cliff Robbins:

  • Reiterates long Investors Bancorp which is undervalued relative to peers; sees upside to $19 due to significant growth in net income and franchise value; a potential M&A candidate

Greenlight’s David Einhorn:

  • Bearish on Core Laboratories; Sees 45% downside to $65/share in "way overvalued" stocks
  • Also said oil prices are unlikely to stage a V-shaped recovery, which will hit Core Lab's business

DoubleLine’s Jeff Gundlach:

  • Recommends pair trade of long EEM ETF, short S&P 500 ETF
  • "When emerging markets outperform the S&P 500, active is outperforming the S&P 500"

Altimeter’s Brad Gerstner:

  • Likes United Airlines Long; sees upside to as much as $235/share
  • Millennials travel more than their parents; sees airlines as a secular growth story

Jericho’s Josh Resnick:

  • Recommends Frontier Communications short; accused company of aggressive accounting practices; having a massive debt load and bad customer service

Glenview’s Larry Robbins:

  • Likes DXC Technology: has good management, good acquisition of HPE by CSC, partnerships with innovative companies, tax reform could help
  • Likes FMC: bought good assets from Dow and DuPont; transaction was advantaged to FMC. Also good lithium batter business that could be split off
  • Likes Quintiles: significant strategies between Quintiles and IMS; Good for potential market share growth.

Sohn contest winner picked EBAY as long; sees ~45% upside

Next Wave Sohn picks below:

  • Trafalgar’s David Copley Recommends Shorting Mirvac, JB Hi- Fi
  • ThornTree’s Mark Moore Likes Liberty-Formula One
  • Totem Point’s Neal Nathani Likes Xilinx
  • Blockhouse’s Jack Franke Recommends Going Long MPLX
  • Half Sky’s Li Ran Recommends Fevertree Drinks Long