Third Point claims 300 percent return on activism since 2011
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss BOSTON (Reuters) - Pushing companies to perform better has earned Third Point a 300 percent return in the last eight years, the hedge fund told investors in a letter on Thursday, praising management at some of its targets for taking the right steps. The $14 billion firm, run by Daniel Loeb, lost 11.3 percent in 2018 but said corporate activism, including campaigns it waged at Campbell Soup and Nestle SA last year, will remain a priority in the future.
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON (Reuters) - Pushing companies to perform better has earned Third Point a 300 percent return in the last eight years, the hedge fund told investors in a letter on Thursday, praising management at some of its targets for taking the right steps.
The $14 billion firm, run by Daniel Loeb, lost 11.3 percent in 2018 but said corporate activism, including campaigns it waged at Campbell Soup and Nestle SA last year, will remain a priority in the future.
Shorting, or betting that stocks will drop, as well as opportunistic credit investments and identifying mispriced intrinsic value securities, are other areas where Third Point can compete in a world increasingly dominated by computer driven trading and passive investments like index funds.
Loeb pressed management and boards at several companies over the last year and on Thursday he gave a shout-out to Mark Schneider, CEO of food company Nestle SA, as well as Mark Clouse, the newly appointed CEO of Campbell Soup, who was recruited to the position with Third Point's help.
Eight months after publicly pressuring Nestle for more sales and restructuring, Loeb praised Nestle and Schneider for announcing plans to explore alternatives for its Herta charcuterie business and announcing a strategic review of its skin health business.
"We believe Nestlé can sustain this new momentum beyond 2020, as the company continues to sharpen its strategy, better align its portfolio around key categories, and improve its
organization to become more agile," the letter, seen by Reuters, said. Loeb added "We remain confident in Mr. Schneider’s leadership."
This is the first time Loeb has spoken extensively about Nestle since admonishing the company in July saying "This is a call for urgency -- rather than incrementalism."
The letter also said that Third Point had called on management at United Technologies, where it remains a large owner, to consider a "value-creating transaction" for Carrier, and said "management are receptive to these suggestions."
Third Point, like many other activist investors, lost money last year, ending the year with a 11.3 percent loss. It was only the second double digit decline in its 24 year history, the letter said. The fund said it has made money this year and is well positioned to benefit when volatility picks up and markets sell off anew.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; editing by Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.