Sohn Conference

Palihapitiya's 40% score on Amazon among standout picks as big hedgies get set to meet again at Sohn

Key Points
  • 22nd annual Sohn Conference takes place Monday in New York with some of the most notable hedge fund stars set to speak, including Bill Ackman, David Einhorn and Jeffrey Gundlach.
  • Chamath Palihapitiya, Social Capital founder and CEO, recommended investors buy Amazon at last year's conference. Shares are up 40 percent since.
  • Of the 16 recommendations last year, 10 were directionally accurate.
Chamath Palihapitiya speaking at the Sohn conference in New York, May 4, 2016
David A. Grogan | CNBC

It's been almost exactly a year since the 21st annual Sohn Conference, with some of the most prominent hedge fund managers delivering their prescient investing advice to an audience of hundreds. In advance of the 22nd annual event next week, CNBC calculated how last year's picks stacked up.

Of the 16 recommendations last year, 10 were directionally accurate, based on comparisons between the prices on May 3, 2016, (the day before last year's conference) and the closing prices on Thursday. That marks a success rate of about 63 percent.

Among the specific stock suggestions, David Rosen of Rubric Capital Management, recommended a long position in Kraton. That stock is 49 percent higher since May 3.

It's a similar story for Chamath Palihapitiya, the Social Capital founder and CEO, who recommended investors buy Amazon shares, which are up 40 percent since.

"When you think about Amazon, you have to think about the long secular trends that are in its favor," he told CNBC at the conference last year. "The first is that people want to buy things more conveniently, and so that has an immediate tail wind to the retail business that we think is going to be worth at least a trillion dollars in 10 years."

Amazon's market cap is currently about $444 billion, and Palihapitiya will be attending Sohn this year again.

John Khoury of Long Pond Capital and also Richard Deitz, founder of VR Capital Group, both had long picks that resulted in double-digit gains. Khoury recommended Hyatt Hotels, a stock that's up 15 percent, while Deitz was bullish on Greek bank stocks. Alpha Bank, which Deitz considered the best among the group, has gained about 13 percent.

Not all predictions turned out to be accurate. Carson Block of Muddy Waters called for a short on the Bank of Ozarks, but that stock is up more than 22 percent.

David Einhorn, who will also be attending this year, recommended that investors short Caterpillar, but those shares have risen 30 percent.

Some accurate predictions spanned beyond that of individual stock picks.

In May 2016 – six months before the election, Jeffrey Gundlach of DoubleLine Capital, said, "He's going to win and he's very comfortable with debt, we know that about Donald Trump. Gundlach will also be attending this year.

Proceeds from the event go toward finding a cure for pediatric cancer. To date, the foundation has raised more than $75 million.

-- With reporting by CNBC's Amanda Lasky and Dawn Giel.

Correction: John Khoury is with Long Pond Capital. An earlier version misstated the firm's name.