Greenlight Capital

“I didn’t know ‘Mean Girls’ had a Wall Street edition,” Jonathan Bush said an in interview with the Wall Street Journal, in response to Greenlight Capital’s bet against athenahealth,1 announced last week at the Ira Sohn Investment Conference. Bush mounted an equally interesting defense of his company yesterday on CNBC, when he said: Read more »

  • 01 May 2014 at 5:28 PM

David Einhorn Did Okay For Himself Last Month

David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital Inc. posted returns of 4.3 percent in April, owing to his short bets against high-flying momentum stocks and its holdings of Apple Inc. and Micron Technology, according to sources familiar with the hedge fund on Thursday. The April gains brought the $10 billion hedge fund’s gains to 3.1 percent for this year to date. [Reuters]

Or something along those lines. Read more »

David Einhorn doesn’t know who Seeking Alpha contributor “Valuable Insights” is. He’s pretty sure VI is a fellow Micron Technology investor. And he’s damned sure (a) that one of VI’s more recent insights was anything but valuable to him, and (b) that he’d like to find out exactly who VI is. And he would appreciate it if a court would help him do so. Read more »

The Greenlight Capital funds, run by hedge fund manager David Einhorn, returned 4.3 percent in the third quarter of 2013, bringing the funds’ year-to-date net return to 11.8 percent, according to a letter to investors seen by Reuters…The letter said that “virtually every long position” that the firm had was profitable in the third quarter, and that it added a “medium-sized long position” in Osram Licht AG . [Reuters]

So David Einhorn won his lawsuit against Apple today, which means that Apple will be forced by a court order to issue $236 billion of “iPref” 4% perpetual preferred stock next week, which I currently see bid at 4.06% in the gray market for $10 million lots.

Hahaha no of course it doesn’t mean that. It means nothing! Except that everyone is kind of peeved. There are some things you could say against Calpers corporate-governance guru Anne Simpson’s position on Apple/Einhorn, but she’s not wrong about this:

“I came off the call deeply puzzled,” Anne Simpson, the pension fund’s director of global governance, told DealBook in an interview after [yesterday's Einhorn] call [pitching iPrefs]. “He finished off by saying you should vote against Proposal 2 to send a message, but he’s in court trying to prevent Proposal 2 from going ahead.”

Right? Read more »

I used to work on sort of a cats-and-dogs capital markets desk, which occasionally meant that spivvy companies without great access to the equity and bond markets, or industry bankers who were a bit too clever for their own good, came to me and asked “hey, what if we issued preferred stock?”1 I cannot recall that ever working out well. “Preferred stock” is a thing that exists in corporate finance textbooks, and occasionally solves for quirky corporate finance equations (“can we structure this investment as debt only it isn’t debt …”), but its practical uses tend to be limited to:

  • private companies, private investments in public companies, joint ventures, VC investments, and other non-publicly-traded things;
  • convertible preferred stock, which is not really the same thing at all;
  • convertible preferred’s weird Warren-Buffett-and-TARP cousin, “preferred stock with warrants”; and
  • a couple of sectors that are really into leverage, capital-structure engineering, and retail financing – meaning mostly banks, insurance companies and REITs.

So David Einhorn’s too-clever-for-his-own-good “iPrefs” deck brought back fond memories: why not convince a tech company that the next level of financial-engineering innovation is to issue preferred stock? And, since the phrase “preferred stock” does still kind of conjure up turn-of-the-last-century financial markets and/or cheesy cologne, why not rebrand it as “iPrefs”? There is something … something very investment-banker-y about taking an absolutely standard financial product, giving it a different name, and calling it an innovation. Of course I love it.

The only thing I love more than the name is the ambition. Read more »