Posts tagged 'Bronte capital'

Saluting the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation (and also a certain hedge fund blogger…)

You can read the brochure explaining what this young but nevertheless worthy institution set out to do when founded in 2012.

Or you can just look at what it’s gone and done to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International… Read more

Baba, a big day, and some bigger logistics

The biggest shopping event in the world? That would be “Singles Day”, an anti-Valentines festival of Chinese spending dominated by Alibaba, Jack Ma’s giant e-commerce company which also has a set of Cayman registered derivative contracts listed in New York under the same name.

When Bronte Capital hedge fund manager John Hempton recently interviewed job candidates, he asked them to think through the implications of a company making 278m online transactions in one day.

He has now blogged about it, which is worth reading for two reasons: as an example of the way investors think through their assumptions and information provided by a company and, perhaps more importantly, for the critique of numbers supporting a $157bn valuation of those New York listed derivatives. Read more

Nixon, back from dead, helping Nu Skin – Update

John Hempton has written a quite remarkable post on Nu Skin, the multi-level marketing company that he has decided to short.

The hedge fund manager was browsing through the company’s debt covenants, when he spotted something odd: the signature of a dead president.

Not only resurrected, but now working at JP Morgan… Read more

Herbalife and some big numbers

The current share price of $49, down more than a third so far this year, is not one of those big numbers for Herbaflie. However John Hempton, has spotted some numbers that he thinks could make a difference.

The manager of Bronte Capital, one of the most prominent bulls on the stock, has outlined the number of meals he thinks Herbalife sells in a year. From that he has extrapolated the number of customers it needs to eat them. Hey presto, it is far too many for the pyramid scheme allegation to stick, he argues.

There may be something to it, but it would be a surprise revelation at this stage of the debate, and a few assumptions demand some closer interrogation first. Read more

Valeant facts

Valeant Pharmaceuticals To Hold Conference Call On Tuesday, June 17, 2014 To Correct Recent Misrepresentations

LAVAL, Quebec, June 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (NYSE: VRX) (TSX: VRX) today announced that it will conduct a fact-based presentation to refute recent misleading assertions made by Allergan, Inc. (NYSE: AGN) and others, as well as answer additional investor questions, on June 17, 2014.

Cage rattled, facts to followRead more

McCrum smackdown watch, Hempton edition

John Hempton is fed up with with our focus on internal consumption as one of the key legal aspects to the debate about Herbalife’s business model.

The Bronte Capital hedge fund manager returns to the argument that both good and bad consumption of Herbalife’s diet shakes by its own army of distributors is possible.

I have spoken to several Herbalife customers and they are mostly signed up as distributors and they do not intend to sell product.

 Read more

The lessons aren’t in the laundry, Herbalife edition

We like a lot of what Bronte Capital’s John Hempton writes, but we think he has got two things quite wrong: New York laundry and Herbalife.

The reasons for both are similar: overlooking deep seated structural factors in favour of personal impressions and a partial analysis. Read more

Love is a many splendoured thing…

… but regally proportioned, unemployed gents with untreated gonorrhoea and mother issues generally find it tough going.

Not so with Aim-traded online dating specialist Cupid according to Bronte Capital’s John Hempton who threw up a rather extreme fake profile — Fat, lazy, poor sick guy wants support — to see if he got many bites. Read more

Luxury you wear vs luxury you can drink

John Hempton of Bronte Capital was gobsmacked this week when Richemont, the Swiss-based luxury goods group, warned that profits in the first half were likely to be rather better than the market was expecting.

Hempton was short the stock on the sensible view that in the wake of the Bo scandal in China, Chinese kleptocrats were less likely to be adorning their wrists with things like Vacheron Constantin watchesRead more

Sell Swiss watches

Terrific stuff from Bronte Capital’s John Hempton on Friday…

The slowdown in Hong Kong (super) luxury goods is a faster decline than other Chinese data. Why so fast? Read more

Sino-Forest as Russian love story

FT Alphaville caught up on its Sino-Forest reading over the weekend and enjoyed the latest post by John Hempton of Bronte Capital. It looks at Paulson & Co.’s loss from the perspective of a fellow portfolio manager, offering sympathy and rivalry in equal measure. Hempton recognises that small teams of investors will use “shortcuts” based on received wisdom such as timber being a safe asset.

However, that does not excuse Paulson & Co for not doing their research thoroughly, writes Hempton: Read more

A further indignity for BP?

Nigerian spammers are now trying to profit from its woes, according to Bronte Capital’s John Hempton, who (ahem, ahem, cough, cough) found the following in his inbox on Wednesday:

From: Dudley Caruthers Esq (Barrister at Law)
Subject: BP Related Agreement Entitlement
E-mail: Read more

Freddie, Fannie doing just fine, thank you very much

Bronte Capital’s John Hempton has gone on a Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae modelling extravaganza. And his conclusions are somewhat refreshing. Namely, he’s certain Freddie and Fannie are not the endless black hole of losses their topline numbers suggest them to be — or in the case of Freddie, the one-off accounting and mark-to-market benefits that recent profits were mostly put down to.

The reality is that the collapse in the market has turned the GSEs into a veritable monopoly in the market, bringing all the obvious advantages that come with that status. As Hempton explains: Read more

In defence of naked shorts

Hedge fund manager, and experienced Ponzi hunter, John Hempton has launched a withering attack on the “flim flams, stock promoters and other market slime-bags” who want naked short selling banned.

He reckons this crackdown on a phoney problem is costing US taxpayers at least $1bn. Read more