The 19th annual Ira Sohn Investment Conference gets underway Monday in New York, with a bevy of high-profile managers set to give their investment picks.
Some of Wall Street's elite including Bill Ackman, Larry Robbins, David Einhorn, Jeffrey Gundlach and Michael Novogratz, are slated to share their ideas at this year's event as a way to raise funds for pediatric cancer research and care. Each of the hedge fund managers are asked to give actionable investing advice to the audience, including their best long or short stock picks.
Ahead of this year's big ideas, we took a look at the performance of the 14 money managers' stock picks from last year—which turned out to be a rather mixed bag, with some of the top hedgies presenting stocks that have underperformed the broader market to date.
Here's a breakdown of each presenter's top long ideas from 2013 and a scorecard of the biggest hits and misses. (Note: All stock performance is from the date on their presentations, May 8, 2013, to the present).
1: Keith Meister, Corvex Management
Taking the top spot is Meister with his two telecom long picks. The Corvex Management founder referred to the sector as a "great space" with "growing trends" and recommended two different ways to play it: Level 3 Communications, which has surged 85 percent to date, and Time Warner Cable, up a respectable 13.8 percent.
2: David Stemerman, Conatus Capital Management
Stemerman was bearish on South Africa and told the audience that you "short when boom turns to bust." His short recommendation for African Bank Investments is one of the most profitable stock picks from last year's conference. The stock, ticker symbol AFRVY, has lost more than half its value to date.
3: Clifton Robbins, Blue Harbour Group
Robbins made a bullish case for two stocks, CACI International and Akamai, both are outperforming the market. Robbins thought CACI was undervalued, with the stock in a "sweet spot" at the time—CACI is up 21 percent since his comments. With Akamai, Robbins saw four megatrends driving the company's growth: cybersecurity, media over Internet providers, cloud and mobile. He said the stock was 30 percent undervalued, Akamai is up 18 percent since.
4: Mitchell Julis, Canyon Partners
Julis' response to markets in 2013 was to "go long, long, long," and to "look for staying power and earning power." His long calls, Clear Channel Outdoor and Apple, are both in positive territory to date with the latter up nearly 30 percent.
5: Stan Druckenmiller, Duquesne Family Office
Druckenmiller was betting on the end of the commodities "supercycle" and told investors to own companies that benefit from lower commodity prices, and short the opposite. The Duquesne Family Office founder advocated a bearish bet on the currencies of Brazil, South Africa, Canada and Australia as the commodities cycle turns down—all which are down against the U.S. dollar to date. His long call for Google (GOOGL) has followed the same winning trend, GOOGL shares have gained 24 percent to date.
6: Jonathon Jacobson, Highfields Capital Management
Jacobson's big short idea was Digital Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust that was trading around $69 during last year's conference and has since dropped 22 percent to $53 per share. Jacobson warned that competition was coming in from Google and Microsoft and told investors that Digital's stock was only worth about $20 per share.
1: Steven Eisman, Emrys Partners
Best known for betting against mortgages in the months prior to the 2008 crash, Eisman was bullish on U.S. housing and delivered a slew of long picks based on three categories: homebuilders, homebuilding products and land. Unfortunately, all eight U.S. housing stocks he recommended as long picks—Lennar, Standard Pacific, PulteGroup, American Woodmark, Fortune Brands Home and Security, Colony Financial and Ocwen Financial are down to date, with Forestar Group faring the worst, down 22 percent to date.
The Emrys Partners founder and portfolio manager didn't fare any better with his short recommendations on Canadian housing and Canadian bank stocks. All six stocks are trading higher, many by double digits, since May 8, 2013.
2: Kyle Bass, Hayman Capital Management
Bass made a bullish case for Dex Media, the combined company of Dex One and SuperMedia. The Hayman Capital managing partner predicted that Dex's bonds will increase in value to be worth par, and its shares will trade at five times the price in three years. The stock initially surged on Bass' remarks, jumping 27 percent to $17.45 on May 8, 2013. However, the upward movement was short-lived; Dex is now down 43 percent to date.
3: Jim Chanos, Kynikos Associates
Chanos made a short case for Seagate Technology and Western Digital, saying he believed both companies were a value trap. Both stocks are up double digits to date, Seagate at 21 percent and Western at 42 percent.
1: Bill Ackman, Pershing Square Capital Management
Ackman's latest activist move, teaming up with Valeant to bid for Allergan, resulted in some hefty profits for the Pershing Square founder and portfolio manager. His long pick at Sohn 2013, Procter & Gamble, also delivered some upside for the portfolio manager—P&G is up 5.3 percent since May 8, 2013.
2: Jeff Gundlach, DoubleLine Capital
Gundlach's presentation had quite the range—he focused on quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve, talked about the Depression and past U.S. presidents, and ended with burritos.The DoubleLine Capital CEO recommended people take all their money out of any bank accounts they have, was cautiously bullish on the Nikkei, which is up 5.6 percent to date, and noted that Treasurys weren't a crowded a trade.
Gundlach's actionable idea, betting against Chipotle Mexican Grill, came at the very end of the presentation and has yet to deliver—Chipotle is up 39 percent since his presentation last year.
3: David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital
Einhorn, who closed out the conference last year, made a long case for Oil States International saying if the company converted its accommodation business into a REIT it could be worth $155 per share.
The stock hasn't had a huge pop since his presentation, Oil States is only up about 1.3 percent to date, but the spinoff that Einhorn sought was announced at the end of July, which could result in a big windfall for him. In an investor letter last week, Einhorn noted that at quarter-end Oil States was still one of Greenlight's largest disclosed long positions.
4: Li Lu, Himalaya Capital
Lu recommended Korean preferred stocks Samsung and Hyundai, arguing that Korean preferreds are trading at a discount compared with common stock. Lu was correct on his Hyundai pick—up almost 16 percent to date—but Samsung still had a ways to fall, with the stock down 9 percent.
5: Paul Singer, Elliott Management
Singer didn't offer up any specific stock picks but did give detailed insight on long-term bonds in the "legacy countries" of the U.S., U.K., Europe and Japan, that he believes now suffer from "long-term insolvency." Singer believes that "those who own long-term bonds in U.S., U.K., Europe or Japan own assets that are trading at the wrong price," and that "there is no safe haven in today's markets."