UPDATE 2-Greenlight's Einhorn slams oil frackers at Sohn conference

Mon May 4, 2015 6:54pm EDT
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(Adds details on Ackman's, Tepper's bets,)

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss, Jessica Toonkel and Ashley Lau

NEW YORK May 4 (Reuters) - Billionaire hedge fund manager David Einhorn, who often moves a stock simply by speaking its name, on Monday kicked off the year's most prominent investment conference by laying out a case against oil frackers, arguing these companies drill "lots and lots of holes" and burn through plenty of cash.

Einhorn, who often unveils short-bets against companies at these events, cited Pioneer Natural Resources Co as a particular offender at the 20th annual Sohn Investment Conference. "We call it the motherfracker," he said, prompting investors to kick the share price down as much as 5.3 percent. The company should trade closer to $78 a share, he said, not the $166.50 the stock is trading at now.

"Pioneer is burning cash and its reserves are not growing," said Einhorn, who runs $11 billion Greenlight Capital, adding "Pioneer ought to stop touting estimates based on stale pricing." The company is losing 20 cents of present value for every dollar it invests.

Pioneer shares closed Monday at $168.33 a share, down 1.88 percent.

Einhorn also mentioned EOG Resources Inc, which he called the "father fracker," Concho Resources, Whiting Petroleum Corp and Continental Resources Inc.

Last year Einhorn unveiled a short bet against athenahealth Inc at a previous Sohn conference and was the first to underscore problems at Lehman Brothers months before the investment bank filed for bankruptcy.

Einhorn was one of the few investors at the conference who unveiled a short bet, as most other investors put forth ideas that investors can buy and hold.   Continued...