Unredacted thoughts on Sohn - Big disappointment?
The conference itself wasn’t so much a disappointment - raking in $4M yesterday and $60M for pediatric cancer research over the last 20 years. The pitches left much to be desired by many - which turned out lack any real originality.
There’s plenty of notes out there - that’s not why I’m here. But we’d be remiss not to hit the high notes.
Einhorn | Greenlight Capital - Just when I thought you couldn’t get any dumber, you go and do something like this...well turns out Einhorn did redeem himself, even if it was only for a brief moment. He delivered a short fracking presentation that got a number of laughs - but was eventually picked apart by finance Twitter over his modeling. The other big risk with any fracker right now is M&A. In any case, shows us for doubting the poker kid.
Barry | JANA Partners - He used Walgreen to set up his ‘activist works’ case and then delivered a pitch on Qualcomm as expected. Barry’s key thesis was: don’t just focus on our breakup story, the capital returns story alone is worth watching.
Meister | Corvex Management - Also delivered as expected, putting a breakup Yum! Brands thesis to the crowd. A lot of what he read seemed to be straight from the Third Point 1Q letter.
Cooperman | Omega - In true Cooperman fashion, he’s long the stock market, short bonds. And gave a basket of stocks he owns - notably there was AerCap (which Einhorn pitched last month), Dow (which Loeb is involved in) and as Cooperman likes to do, he pumped a microcap Gulf Coast Ultra Deep Royalty Trust.
Robbins | Glenview - Pitched AbbVie and Brookdale - with Brookdale being a name that Tom Sandell is already active in pushing for the company to form a REIT.
Lone Pine Capital - Took a play from ValueAct’s portfolio and pitched Microsoft. The cloud will save the company.
Tepper | Appaloosa - Got away with not pitching anything; simply said the market looks great.
Ackman | Pershing - Pulled the ole bait and switch. In the 11th hour, he apparently put together a presentation that’s all about ‘platform’ companies, touting his own book with Valeant Pharma. He doesn’t like not having the ‘wow factor’ when he unveils an idea. In all seriousness, it was a little disappointing to see him just talk about Valeant, with some mention of his own SPAC (Platform Holdings) and Jarden. In truth, he’s probably got too much going on with the Herbalife short and trying to work out a deal where Valeant buys Zoetis to think about rails.