Macro Tsimmis

intelligently hedged investment

Posts Tagged ‘SLT’

Oct 08 Intelledgement Speculative Opportunity Portfolio Report

Posted by intelledgement on Wed, 12 Nov 08

Position Purchased Shares Paid Cost Now Value Change YTD ROI CAGR
VRTX 18-Apr-07 57 31.65 1,812.05 26.21 1,493.97 -21.15% 12.83% -17.55% -11.79%
NBIX 22-May-07 158 11.33 1,798.14 4.13 652.54 -11.94% -9.03% -63.71% -50.40%
GSS 19-Jul-07 451 4.19 1,897.69 0.88 396.88 -42.11% -72.15% -79.09% -70.36%
GSS 24-Aug-07 613 3.08 1,896.04 0.88 539.44 -42.11% -72.15% -71.55% -65.28%
BZH 24-Mar-08 -214 10.99 -2,343.86 2.28 -487.92 -61.87% 69.31% 79.18% 162.20%
BAC 8-Sep-08 -69 34.73 -2,388.37 24.17 -1,667.73 -30.94% -41.42% 30.17% 515.49%
GS 8-Sep-08 -14 169.73 -2,368.22 92.50 -1,299.90 -27.73% -56.99% 45.11% 1201.23%
HBC 8-Sep-08 -30 79.11 -2,365.30 59.00 -1,770.00 -27.01% -29.52% 25.17% 369.76%
DUG 10-Sep-08 56 42.83 2,406.48 37.05 2,186.91 -4.63% 2.97% -9.12% -49.60%
BBY 19-Sep-08 -58 41.49 -2,398.42 26.88 -1,567.16 -28.32% -48.95% 34.66% 1230.08%
MA 19-Sep-08 -11 225.18 -2,468.98 147.82 -1,627.67 -16.64% -31.31% 34.08% 1180.79%
WMT 19-Sep-08 -40 59.70 -2,380.00 55.81 -2,232.40 -6.81% 17.42% 6.20% 68.75%
CAB 19-Sep-08 170 14.08 2,401.60 7.95 1,351.50 -34.19% -47.25% -43.73% -99.33%
WFC 09-Oct-08 -73 33.06 -2,405.38 34.05 -2,485.65 n/a 14.45% -3.34% -43.08%
cash 16,906.53 31,343.96
ISOP 03-Jan-07 10,000.00 24,826.77 7.70% 13.65% 148.27% 64.54%
Global HF 03-Jan-07 10,000.00 9,429.20 -6.01% -15.15% -5.71% -3.17%
NASDAQ 03-Jan-07 2,415.29 1,720.95 -17.73% -35.11% -28.75% -16.94%

Position = symbol of the security for each position
Purchased = date position acquired (for long positions) or sold (for short positions)
Shares = number of shares long or short in the portfolio
Paid = price per share
Cost = what portfolio paid (including commission); note for short sales, the portfolio gains cash
Now = price per share as of the date of the report
Value = what it is worth as of the date of the report (# shrs multiplied by price per share plus—or minus for short positions—the value of dividends)
Change = Change since last report (not applicable for positions new since last report)
Year-to-Date = Change since 31 Dec 07
Return on Investment = on a percentage basis, the performance of this security since purchase
Compounded Annual Growth Rate = annualized ROI for this position since purchase (to help compare apples to apples)

Notes: The benchmark for the ISOP is the Greenwich Alternative Investments Global Hedge Fund Index, which historically (1988 to 2007 inclusively) provides a CAGR of around 15.1%. For comparison’s sake, we also show the NASDAQ index, which over the same time frame has yielded a CAGR of around 10.1%. Note that for the portfolio, dividends are added back into the value of the pertinent security and not included in the “cash” total (this gives a more complete picture of the ROI for dividend-paying securities). Also, the “Cost” figures include a standard $8 commission and there is a 2% rate of interest on the listed cash balance.

Transactions: The ISOP was a bedrock of stability this month; with the market going totally insane in terms of volatility, we felt constrained to make only one transaction…and that was essentially a move to bring the port more into congruence with the way it used to be, in that we replaced our Wachovia (WB) short position (covered last month) with a short position in the stock of the company that acquired WB, viz. Wells Fargo (WFC). A big contrast from last month, when we had a portfolio-record 14 transactions in moving to a net short stance. Speaking of our shorts, we did cheerfully pay out several dividends for our financial services and retailing stocks (when you are short a stock that pays a dividend, you have to pony it up).

  • 3 Oct—paid out BBY dividend of $0.14/shr
  • 8 Oct—paid out MA dividend of $0.15/shr
  • 9 Oct—Sold short 73 WFC for $33.06/shr
  • 23 Oct—paid out GS dividend of $0.35/shr

News:

Comments: LOL you might think that the amount of effort that goes into managing portfolios in a month with one transaction would be a lot less than the effort expended in a 14-transaction month…but when the market is going insane and repricing everything from day-to-day, just about the same degree of close attention is required, regardless of whether or not anything is being bought or sold. On average, the NASDAQ goes up about 10% a year…well there were two DAYS in October where the NASDAQ index was up 10%+…and this in a month were overall, the index was down 18%, the two gigantic up days notwithstanding.

The level of volatility this month was positively staggering. Normally, the index changes (up or down) an average of about 0.5% each day. The average daily change in October: ±3.7%…more than seven times normal!

Obviously, when the level of systemic risk is high, the potential variation in the value of any given company is extremely high, depending. For example, if the economy recovers, then Best Buy (BBY)—which we are short—is worth, say, $15+ billion. But if we fall into a depression where no one can afford to buy big flat screen TVs, then maybe they go out of business. Pretty big range in valuation! Add to that the complexities of the economy, and the impossibility of instantly and accurately calculating the impact of the latest government actions, the inevitable result is a wildly gyrating consensus.

Be that as it may, when the dust settled, we were +8%, the hedgies were -6%, and the NASDAQ was, as we said, -18%. A great month for the good guys! Overall after 22 months of operations, the ISOP is now +148% compared with -6% for the hedgies and -29% for the NASDAQ.

It was a bull market for news this month. On 3 October, W signed the bank bailout bill (after rejecting it last month, the House took another vote after some fig leaves were applied and enough Republicans changed their votes to “yes” to pass it). Also on 3 October, Wells Fargo (WFC) outbid Citigroup (C) for our former short, Wachovia (WB). On 6 October with the market tanking, the Fed announced an emergency $900 billion in short-term loans to banks (this is in addition to TARP funds). On 7 October with the market tanking still more, the Fed announced an emergency move to lend $1.3 trillion to non-financial services companies. On 8 October with the market still on the express elevator headed for the sub-basement, the Fed cut interest rates in a move coordinated with other prominent central banks including those of China, the ECB, the UK, and Switzerland. Overall, the S&P 500 dropped 18.2% for the week ending 10 October, its worst week ever. On 14 October, the US Treasury announced distribution of $250 billion of the TARP funds in the form of loans to several large banks, including our shorts Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS), and Wells Fargo (WFC) as well as C and others. On 21 October, the Fed announced another emergency short-term loan program, this time to money market mutual funds, which had stopped lending to banks in the wake of a huge wave of redemptions.

The fix is clearly in, with Democrats in Congress and working hand-in-glove with the Republican Secretary of the Treasury and Republican appointee Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to “stablize” the current broken-down system. It appears that none of the broken financial services companies—not even AIG, Freddie Mac (FRE), or Fannie Mae (FNM), who are in the worst shape—will be allowed to fail so long as the Fed’s printing presses are still able to pump out funds to loan them to “tide them over.” W has practically turned invisible during the crisis but evidently has no objections (if any opinions whatsoever). Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic party nominee for President, has pretty carefully avoided saying much of anything, but on 1 October he voted for the bailout (as did his running mate, Senator Joe Biden). The GOP standard bearer, Senator John McCain, has been somewhat more vocal and way more incoherent; in the event, he, too, voted for the bailout on 1 October. We believe this approach is both morally wrong—bailing out wealthy bankers with taxpayer money—and shortsighted, in that it will only delay the day of reckoning and ensure both that the eventual nadir will be lower and the recovery therefrom harder and longer.

Speaking of hard, that it was for our portfolio, as ever single equity was down in October. (WFC, which we are short, was up between the day we bought it—9 October at the open—and the end of the month but we obviously sold it short too late because it was down overall for the month.) Fortunately, we are now short eight positions and long only six so on balance, a down market is a good thing for our portfolio. Among the long positions, our two biotech companies (VRTX down 21% and NBIX down 12%), our gold miner (GSS down 42%), and our relatively new retailer (CAB down 34%) were no help whatsover.

We also own DUG, which is an ETF that is supposed to move twice the inverse of the price of oil…well crude was down sharply in October, but on extremely volatile trading, and DUG somehow managed to lose 5%, declining more on the days that the price of oil increased sharply that it gained on the days oil declined. We need to keep this one on a short leash as it is evidently poorly designed and not behaving as we expected it to.

Aside from the aforementioned WFC, we were very happy with the performance of our shorts. Our real estate short (BZH) was down 62%! The other financials shorts were all down sharply (BAC -31%, GS -28%, and HBC -27%). All three retail-related shorts were down big (BBY -28%, MA -17% and WMT -7%).

Clearly, the risk of a serious downturn continues to be significant here, and consequently we remain net short.

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Sep 08 Intelledgement Speculative Opportunity Portfolio Report

Posted by intelledgement on Sun, 12 Oct 08

Position Purchased Shares Paid Cost Now Value Change YTD ROI CAGR
VRTX 18-Apr-07 57 31.65 1,812.05 33.24 1,894.68 23.75% 43.09% 4.56% 3.11%
NBIX 22-May-07 158 11.33 1,798.14 4.69 741.02 -9.28% 3.30% -58.79% -47.87%
GSS 19-Jul-07 451 4.19 1,897.69 1.52 685.52 -0.65% -51.90% -63.88% -57.14%
GSS 24-Aug-07 613 3.08 1,896.04 1.52 1,606.06 -0.65% -51.90% -50.86% -47.48%
BZH 24-Mar-08 -214 10.99 -2,343.86 5.98 -1,279.72 14.08% 19.52% 45.40% 105.36%
BAC 8-Sep-08 -69 34.73 -2,388.37 35.00 -2,415.00 n/a -15.17% -1.11% -16.99%
GS 8-Sep-08 -14 169.73 -2,368.22 128.00 -1,792.00 n/a -40.48 24.33% 3617.53%
HBC 8-Sep-08 -30 79.11 -2,365.30 80.83 -2,424.90 n/a -3.44% -2.52% -34.54%
DUG 10-Sep-08 56 42.83 2,406.48 38.85 2,287.71 n/a 7.98% -4.94% -60.32%
BBY 19-Sep-08 -58 41.49 -2,398.42 37.50 -2,175.00 n/a -28.77% 9.32% 1824.79%
MA 19-Sep-08 -11 225.18 -2,468.98 177.33 -1,950.63 n/a -17.60% 20.99% 55900.91%
WMT 19-Sep-08 -40 59.70 -2,380.00 59.89 -2,395.60 n/a 26.00% -0.66% -19.62%
CAB 19-Sep-08 170 14.08 2,401.60 12.08 2,053.60 n/a -19.84% -14.49% -99.45%
cash 14,501.15 28,890.43
ISOP 03-Jan-07 10,000.00 23,051.87 -6.22% 5.52% 130.52% 61.55%
Global HF 03-Jan-07 10,000.00 10,032.13 -5.76% -9.72% 0.32% 0.18%
NASDAQ 03-Jan-07 2,415.29 2,367.52 -11.64% -21.13% -13.39% -7.92%

Position = symbol of the security for each position
Purchased = date position acquired (for long positions) or sold (for short positions)
Shares = number of shares long or short in the portfolio
Paid = price per share
Cost = what portfolio paid (including commission); note for short sales, the portfolio gains cash
Now = price per share as of the date of the report
Value = what it is worth as of the date of the report (# shrs multiplied by price per share plus—or minus for short positions—the value of dividends)
Change = Change since last report (not applicable for positions new since last report)
Year-to-Date = Change since 31 Dec 07
Return on Investment = on a percentage basis, the performance of this security since purchase
Compounded Annual Growth Rate = annualized ROI for this position since purchase (to help compare apples to apples)

Notes: The benchmark for the ISOP is the Greenwich Alternative Investments Global Hedge Fund Index, which historically (1988 to 2007 inclusively) provides a CAGR of around 15.1%. For comparison’s sake, we also show the NASDAQ index, which over the same time frame has yielded a CAGR of around 10.1%. Note that for the portfolio, dividends are added back into the value of the pertinent security and not included in the “cash” total (this gives a more complete picture of the ROI for dividend-paying securities). Also, the “Cost” figures include a standard $8 commission and there is a 2% rate of interest on the listed cash balance.

Transactions: Well, following three months of almost no activity transaction-wise, the market has been crazy, with valuations all over the place—but trending down, big time—and consequently we felt constrained to make major adjustments to the portfolio, mostly moving to the short side. First we shorted a bunch of financial company stocks. Then we sold all our oilers and our one mining stock and bought an ETF that goes up when the price of oil declines. Then we shorted a cohort of retail-related stocks, and—partly as a hedge—bought a fourth retailer. Finally, we covered the WB short. Not surprizingly, the month set a new portfolio record for the most transactions ever: fourteen (the previous record was five)!

News:

Comments: Sheesh…this month required an awful lot of work to produce a 6% loss! The silver lining was that the hedgies also lost 6% and the NASDAQ was down 12%, so it could have been worse. Overall after 21 months of operations, the ISOP is now +131% compared with ±0% for the hedgies and -13% for the NASDAQ.

So we did have a lot of company-specific news this month, but it was pretty much overshadowed by the macro-level proverbial excrement hitting the fan. We had the government takeover of Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) on 7 Sep. A week later we had the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers (LEH) and the acquisition of Merrill Lynch (MER) by BAC. Then we had a run on the money market funds ($140 billion withdrawn in one week), and the emergency $85 billion loan by the Fed to AIG to avoid a bankruptcy there. To close out the month, you have the spectacle of Republican Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke begging the GOP-controlled House for a $700 billion emergency bailout fund to be used to purchase so-called “toxic” assets that have plummeted in value and threaten multiple financial institutions who own them with insolvency…and being turned down! (Oh, and we almost forgot, the arrangement for Citibank (C) to buy our own troubled asset, WB.)

Clearly chickens are coming home to roost here. As we keep saying, this economy has serious fundamental flaws—too much debt and entitlement obligations, too much energy devoted to unproductive-to-fraudulent financial transactions, an unsound currency, underfunding of infrastructure investment—and the cultural focus on taking the path of least resistance and maximizing the immediate return on investment is impeding us from addressing these long-term flaws. While it would be painful, a collapse of the current Ponzi-based financial system would clear the decks for the creation of a healthier, sounder approach, and the resultant crisis would be resolved a lot faster than is likely to be the case if we just kick the can down the road again here. So we were cheering when the House voted down the Troubled Assets Relief Program, even though the markets tanked on the news. (Of course, by then we were mostly short. LOL)

Speaking of which, the market was extremely volatile this month—it was ±3% on two days, ±4% on three days, ±5% on three days, and -9% on 29 Sep (the day the House voted down the $700 billion bailout bill). Ofttimes the market does not move as much as 9% in an entire year! In that light, it is not a shocker that we felt constrained to make a few moves…such as closing more than half the positions we started the month with and then opening up even more new ones. Among the few holdovers were our two biotech companies (VRTX up 24% and NBIX down 9%), our gold miner (GSS down 1%), and our housing industry short (BZH -14% by virtue of which we gained). As for the newcomers, two of our three financials short were up (BAC +1% and HBC +3%) but GS was down 24% in only three weeks. Two of our three retail-related shorts were down big (BBY -9% and MA -21%) in only two weeks while the other gained a point (WMT +1%). Our oil short ETF (DUG) was down 5% and the retailer we went long on (CAB) manifestly should have been a short as it was down 14%. You can help both yourself and the ISOP by going to their website and stocking up on ammo and fishhooks as insurance against a potential collapse of the system.

Clearly, the risk of a serious downturn is now greater than a month ago, and we are about as short as we are going to get. Fasten your seat belts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.

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Jul 08 Intelledgement Speculative Opportunity Portfolio Report

Posted by intelledgement on Sun, 10 Aug 08

Position Purchased Shares Paid Cost Now Value Change YTD ROI CAGR
TMY 03-Jan-07 300 3.30 998.00 0.50 150.00 -20.63% -74.62% -84.97% -70.00%
VRTX 18-Apr-07 57 31.65 1,812.05 33.22 1,893.54 -0.75% 43.00% 4.50% 3.48%
NBIX 22-May-07 158 11.33 1,798.14 4.72 745.44 12.60% 3.92% -58.54% -52.18%
BQI 13-Jul-07 565 3.35 1,900.75 5.94 3,354.97 -8.65% 45.54% 76.51% 71.68%
GSS 19-Jul-07 451 4.19 1,897.69 2.62 1,181.62 -2.60% -17.09% -37.73% -36.73%
GSS 24-Aug-07 613 3.08 1,896.04 2.62 1,606.06 -2.60% -17.09% -15.29% -16.24%
SLT 5-Oct-07 111 19.75 2,200.25 15.53 1,723.83 -2.33% -40.43% -21.65% -25.70%
BZP 19-Nov-07 245 9.77 2,401.65 26.85 6,578.25 -8.67% 140.16% 173.91% 323.45%
BZP 30-Jan-08 186 11.27 2,104.22 26.85 4,994.10 -8.67% 140.16% 137.34% 461.30%
WB 1-Feb-08 -57 39.99 -2,271.43 10.58 -639.54 31.87% 72.18% 71.84% 198.19%
BZH 24-Mar-08 -214 10.99 -2,343.86 3.82 -817.48 31.42% 48.59% 65.12% 313.71%
cash -2,393.50 10,502.20
ISOP 03-Jan-07 10,000.00 31,273.00 -7.71% 43.16% 212.73% 106.32%
Global HF 03-Jan-07 10,000.00 10,782.24 -2.28% -2.97% 7.82% 4.90%
NASDAQ 03-Jan-07 2,415.29 2,325.55 1.42% -12.32% -3.72% -2.38%

Position = symbol of the security for each position
Purchased = date position acquired (for long positions) or sold (for short positions)
Shares = number of shares long or short in the portfolio
Paid = price per share
Cost = what portfolio paid (including commission); note for short sales, the portfolio gains cash
Now = price per share as of the date of the report
Value = what it is worth as of the date of the report (# shrs multiplied by price per share plus—or minus for short positions—the value of dividends)
Change = Change since last report (not applicable for positions new since last report)
Year-to-Date = Change since 31 Dec 07
Return on Investment = on a percentage basis, the performance of this security since purchase
Compounded Annual Growth Rate = annualized ROI for this position since purchase (to help compare apples to apples)

Notes: The benchmark for the ISOP is the Greenwich Alternative Investments Global Hedge Fund Index, which historically (1988 to 2007 inclusively) provides a CAGR of around 15.1%. For comparison’s sake, we also show the NASDAQ index, which over the same time frame has yielded a CAGR of around 10.1%. Note that for the portfolio, dividends are added back into the value of the pertinent security and not included in the “cash” total (this gives a more complete picture of the ROI for dividend-paying securities). Also, the “Cost” figures include a standard $8 commission and there is a 2% rate of interest on the listed cash balance.

Transactions: We sold Elán (ELN) when further analysis of the Phase 2 results for bapineuzumab reported last month called into question the entire theory the anti-Alzheimer’s Disease drug is based on.

News:

Comments: POW! Following our best month of the year in June, we had our worst month ever in July, down 8%. We were outperformed by both the NASDAQ (+1%) and the Global Hedge Fund Index (-2%); overall after 19 months of operations, the ISOP is now +213% compared with +8% for the hedgies and -4% for the NASDAQ.

Our energy plays led the decline, with our sick puppy TMY -21%, and both BZP and BQI down -9% and commodity prices faltered. Our miners were also down; GSS down 3% and SLT down 2%. Our remaining biotechs—after our sale of ELN—were mixed, with VRTX -1% and NBIX +13%. Our shorts performed well, with BZH declining 31% (+31% for us) and WB 32%.

If you are following our macro analysis, you know that we have been anticipating a market crash ever since the Fed started lowering rates nearly a year ago. We still expect the central banks to do their utmost to hold things together until (at least) after the Olympics to avoid embarrassing the Chinese and ideally until after the USA elections to avoid the risk that too many hard questions might be asked of the politicians.

But the Olympics end on 24 August, so the crash watch alert level will be going up a notch or two. Stay tuned.

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Jun 08 Intelledgement Speculative Opportunity Portfolio Report

Posted by intelledgement on Sat, 12 Jul 08

Position Purchased Shares Paid Cost Now Value Change YTD ROI CAGR
TMY 03-Jan-07 300 3.30 998.00 0.63 189.00 40.00% -68.02% -81.06% -67.28%
ELN 04-Apr-07 129 13.90 1,801.10 35.55 4,585.95 41.97% 61.74% 154.62% 112.45%
VRTX 18-Apr-07 57 31.65 1,812.05 33.47 1,907.79 16.91% 44.08% 5.28% 4.38%
NBIX 22-May-07 158 11.33 1,798.14 4.19 662.02 -15.01% -7.71% -63.18% -59.39%
BQI 13-Jul-07 565 3.35 1,900.75 6.50 3,672.50 42.23% 59.31% 93.21% 97.68%
GSS 19-Jul-07 451 4.19 1,897.69 2.69 1,213.19 -9.12% -14.87% -36.07% -37.56%
GSS 24-Aug-07 613 3.08 1,896.04 2.69 1,648.97 -9.12% -14.87% -13.03% -15.12%
SLT 5-Oct-07 111 19.75 2,200.25 15.90 1,764.90 -28.18% -39.01% -19.79% -25.87%
BZP 19-Nov-07 245 9.77 2,401.65 29.40 7,203.00 29.29% 162.97% 199.92% 499.51%
BZP 30-Jan-08 186 11.27 2,104.22 29.40 5,468.40 29.29% 162.97% 159.88% 892.37%
WB 1-Feb-08 -57 39.99 -2,271.43 15.53 -921.69 34.75% 59.16% 59.42% 211.32%
BZH 24-Mar-08 -214 10.99 -2,343.86 5.57 -1,191.98 19.86% 25.03% 49.14% 343.65%
cash -4,194.60 7,672.15
ISOP 03-Jan-07 10,000.00 33,886.98 18.75% 55.12% 238.87% 126.92%
Global HF 03-Jan-07 10,000.00 11,033.81 -1.03% -0.71% 10.34% 6.83%
NASDAQ 03-Jan-07 2,415.29 2,292.98 -9.10% -13.55% -5.06% -3.43%

Position = symbol of the security for each position
Purchased = date position acquired (for long positions) or sold (for short positions)
Shares = number of shares long or short in the portfolio
Paid = price per share
Cost = what portfolio paid (including commission); note for short sales, the portfolio gains cash
Now = price per share as of the date of the report
Value = what it is worth as of the date of the report (# shrs multiplied by price per share plus—or minus for short positions—the value of dividends)
Change = Change since last report (not applicable for positions new since last report)
Year-to-Date = Change since 31 Dec 07
Return on Investment = on a percentage basis, the performance of this security since purchase
Compounded Annual Growth Rate = annualized ROI for this position since purchase (to help compare apples to apples)

Notes: The benchmark for the ISOP is the Greenwich Alternative Investments Global Hedge Fund Index, which historically (1988 to 2007 inclusively) provides a CAGR of around 15.1%. For comparison’s sake, we also show the NASDAQ index, which over the same time frame has yielded a CAGR of around 10.1%. Note that for the portfolio, dividends are added back into the value of the pertinent security and not included in the “cash” total (this gives a more complete picture of the ROI for dividend-paying securities). Also, the “Cost” figures include a standard $8 commission and there is a 2% rate of interest on the listed cash balance.

Transactions: None.

News:

Comments:

WOW! Our best month of the year: +19%. In fact, aside from our freaky Dendreon bonanza (up 78% in March 2007), this is our best month ever. We again beat both the NASDAQ (-9%) and the Global Hedge Fund Index (-1%); overall after 18 months of operations, the ISOP is now a record high +239% compared with +10% for the hedgies and -5% for the NASDAQ.

Folks, it really isn’t this easy…or more precisely, the vaguaries of speculation being what they are, while it is feasible to be up big in a short period of time, it is just also easy to be down big. Case in point, TMY, which was up 40% this month on the buyout bid from Hong Kong—but overall is still down 68% for us. Or our biotech spec play NBIX, down another 15% this month and -60% overall in the wake of last year’s surprise recjection by the FDA of their insomnia remedy. Or GSS, our gold miner with the lingering production cost issues, down another 9% this month.

Of course, on balance, the good outweighed the bad this month. On the strength of nearly doubled reserve estimates, BQI was up 42% to lead the port, along with ELN which despite mixed results on their Alzheimer’s drug was also up 42%. The big picture for banking and housing continued to decline in June, and our short positions were strong again: WB up 35% and BZH up 20%. BZP was up 29% on the news that they were finally shipping crude and VRTX was up 17% despite somewhat disappointing news on the design of the phase 3 trials for telaprevir. SLT dropped 28% on concern they may end up overpaying for Asarco.

While there is a temptation to sell off everything and just sit on the funds for the next six months—we are up 55% YTD and it’s hard to imagine the hedgies or market catching us by December—we still think the market holds it together through the Olympics at least and the USA election most probably, and so we are holding pat here. Should we get a decline, then we will have to review the energy plays and possibly the mining and biotech plays, and we could be looking for more shorting opportunities.

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Sterlite Industries India Ltd. (SLT) update #8

Posted by intelledgement on Sat, 12 Jul 08

Our Indian-based mining/refining company, Sterlite Industries (SLT), announced an agreement earlier this week with the union representing the workers of bankrupt US copper miner Asarco, which SLT have bid to acquire the assets of. The $2.6B bid, which has been accepted by the Asarco board, is on hold pending the bankruptcy court’s review of a rival bid from Grupo Mexico (GMBXF.PK).

SLT’s CEO, Anil Agarwal, stated, “We look forward to working with the unions and Asarco’s highly-skilled employees.” The new collective bargaining agreement fully retains all existing worker benefits. Sterlite has also committed to invest in Asarco’s operations will be improved and made more competitive. The new agreement runs through 2013; it would replace the existing agreement that expires in 2010.

Of course, the new agreement only becomes effective if the SLT acquisition is consummated. But the existence of the agreement can’t hurt Sterlite’s standing with the bankruptcy court when it considers the competing bids.

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Sterlite Industries India Ltd. (SLT) update #7

Posted by intelledgement on Sat, 05 Jul 08

Our Indian buildout play, miner/metals refiner Sterlite Industries (SLT), got more bad news earlier this week concerning their $2.6B buyout of the copper assets of bankrupt copper miner Asarco. Asarco’s former owner, Grupo Mexico (GMBXF.PK), received permission from the US bankruptcy court to present their reorganization plan, which apparently involves reacquiring all of Asarco (including the liabilities).

Grupo Mexico have apparently put as much as $4.1B on the table, although as they are proposing the reacquire all of Asarco, the offer is not directly comparable to SLT’s. It’s likely to take some time for the court to sort through the relative plusses and minuses of the competing offers, and thus the consummation of SLT’s acqusition will be delayed accordingly, at minimum. Speaking of plusses, the court has approved a $52 million breakup fee negotiated by Sterlite and the Asarco board; should the board back out of the deal, Sterlite will be due the fee.

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May 08 Intelledgement Speculative Opportunity Portfolio Report

Posted by intelledgement on Thu, 12 Jun 08

Position Purchased Shares Paid Cost Now Value Change YTD ROI CAGR
TMY 03-Jan-07 300 3.30 998.00 0.45 135.00 -13.46% -77.16% -86.47% -75.93%
ELN 04-Apr-07 129 13.90 1,801.10 25.04 3,230.16 -4.75% 13.92% 79.34% 65.79%
VRTX 18-Apr-07 57 31.65 1,812.05 28.63 1,631.91 12.19% 23.25% -9.94% -8.95%
NBIX 22-May-07 158 11.33 1,798.14 4.93 778.94 -9.21% 8.59% -56.68% -55.82%
BQI 13-Jul-07 565 3.35 1,900.75 4.57 2,582.05 5.06% 12.01% 35.84% 41.55%
GSS 19-Jul-07 451 4.19 1,897.69 2.96 1,334.96 -10.84% -6.33% -29.65% -33.41%
GSS 24-Aug-07 613 3.08 1,896.04 2.96 1,814.48 -10.84% -6.33% -4.30% -5.57%
SLT 5-Oct-07 111 19.75 2,200.25 22.14 2,457.54 6.49% -15.07% 11.69% 18.50%
BZP 19-Nov-07 245 9.77 2,401.65 22.74 5,571.30 16.74% 103.40% 131.98% 391.59%
BZP 30-Jan-08 186 11.27 2,104.22 22.74 3,623.28 16.74% 103.40% 101.01% 722.76%
WB 1-Feb-08 -57 39.99 -2,271.43 23.80 -1,414.46 18.35% 37.42% 37.42% 167.12%
BZH 24-Mar-08 -214 10.99 -2,343.86 6.95 -1,487.30 37.22% 6.46% 36.54% 446.33%
cash -4,194.60 7,672.15
ISOP 03-Jan-07 10,000.00 28,536.37 7.96% 30.63% 185.36% 110.98%
Global HF 03-Jan-07 10,000.00 11,148.64 1.84% 0.32% 11.49% 8.05%
NASDAQ 03-Jan-07 2,415.29 2,522.66 4.55% -4.89% 4.55% 3.15%

Position = symbol of the security for each position
Purchased = date position acquired (for long positions) or sold (for short positions)
Shares = number of shares long or short in the portfolio
Paid = price per share
Cost = what portfolio paid (including commission); note for short sales, the portfolio gains cash
Now = price per share as of the date of the report
Value = what it is worth as of the date of the report (# shrs multiplied by price per share plus—or minus for short positions—the value of dividends)
Change = Change since last report (not applicable for positions new since last report)
Year-to-Date = Change since 31 Dec 07
Return on Investment = on a percentage basis, the performance of this security since purchase
Compounded Annual Growth Rate = annualized ROI for this position since purchase (to help compare apples to apples)

Notes: The benchmark for the ISOP is the Greenwich Alternative Investments Global Hedge Fund Index, which historically (1988 to 2007 inclusively) provides a CAGR of around 15.1%. For comparison’s sake, we also show the NASDAQ index, which over the same time frame has yielded a CAGR of around 10.1%. Note that for the portfolio, dividends are added back into the value of the pertinent security and not included in the “cash” total (this gives a more complete picture of the ROI for dividend-paying securities). Also, the “Cost” figures include a standard $8 commission and there is a 2% rate of interest on the listed cash balance.

Transactions: In the long run, we like oil, as the continuing buildout in Asia will ensure demand tends to challenge supply, and it also serves as a hedge against the declining dollar. Be that as it may, $125/barrel seems too high, too soon to us, and accordingly we took a position in an inverse ETF that goes up 2x any daily decline in the price of crude (and vice versa). However, the market disagrees, and it only took six days and a high print of $132.78 to decrement our position by 10%. Mindful of John Maynard Keynes’ famous oberservation that “Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent,” we hit the silk. In March, Goldman Sachs analysts forecast a spike as high as $200/barrel. While we still think that is unlikely anytime soon, we’re no longer willing to bet on a near-term decline.

News:

Comments:

Another excellent month, up 8%. We beat both the NASDAQ (+5%) and the Global Hedge Fund Index (+2%) for the fourth time in five tries this year. The big picture for banking and housing clouded up in May, and our short positions lead the port for the month: BZH up 37% and WB up 18%. On the energy front, BZP was up 17% on continued strength in the price of oil and improved reserves data, BQI was up 5% and the outlier was TMY, which produced nothing but more bad news and sank another 13%. Our biotech plays were mixed: VRTX was up 12% on no particular news, ELN lost 5% and NBIX shed 9%. On the mining front, SLT was up 5% but GSS was decimated (approximately) by 11%.

We still think the market holds it together through the Olympics at least and the USA election most probably. By around then we will have to review the energy plays and possibly the mining and biotech plays, and we could be looking for more shorting opportunities.

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