Loeb, Laffont Hedge Funds Start Year With Big January Gains

(Bloomberg) -- Hedge fund managers Dan Loeb and Philippe Laffont are picking up this year where they left off in 2017: making lots of money.

Loeb, Laffont Hedge Funds Start Year With Big January Gains

Loeb’s Third Point Ultra fund returned 5.5 percent in January and his Third Point Offshore fund rose 3.7 percent, according to a person familiar with matter. Laffont’s Coatue Qualified Partners surged 9.9 percent last month, according to an investor document seen by Bloomberg News.

Both managers appear to have benefited from the surge in technology stocks. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 7.4 percent in January. Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Third Point’s second-largest holding and Coatue’s third-biggest position, jumped 18 percent. Loeb ended the year up 18 percent in his flagship offshore fund, while Laffont was up 24 percent.

Loeb, Laffont Hedge Funds Start Year With Big January Gains

Representatives for both firms declined to comment.

Even though Third Point gained on a rally in stocks, the firm, with $19 billion in assets, told investors last month that it sees opportunities in shorting stocks in 2018.

The firm sees “abundant opportunity” to bet against companies this year and beyond, after a prolonged period of low interest rates that has probably created excess capacity across many industries and that will have “unintended consequences for companies’ pricing power and margins.”

Loeb added that his hedge fund, which has a team that focuses on betting against securities or short-selling, has increased its focus on short sales over the past two years.

The solid start by Third Point and New York-based Coatue stands in contrast to David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital. Einhorn’s main fund posted a 6.6 percent loss in January, according to a note to clients seen by Bloomberg, its worst monthly performance since October 2008.

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