HIGHLIGHTS-U.S. hedge funds trim eBay, Leonard Green hot on Shake Shack

Fri May 15, 2015 3:11pm EDT
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(Adds Third Point, Farallon Capital Management, Leonard Green)

By Sam Forgione

NEW YORK May 15 (Reuters) - Top U.S. hedge fund management firms, including Dan Loeb's Third Point LLC and Farallon Capital Management, trimmed some of their equity exposure in eBay Inc but kept high stake positions in the e-commerce company's shares during the first quarter, according to regulatory filings.

Third Point cut its stake in eBay by 1 million shares to 9 million shares while Farallon cuts its eBay equity position by 27 percent to own 1.8 million shares. Activist hedge fund Jana Partners LLC, however, raised its stake by about 49 percent to own 20 million shares during the first quarter.

MD Sass Investors Services liquidated its position in eBay, selling 626,520 shares.

Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., one of the nation's leading private equity firms with over $15 billion, revealed on Friday that it held 9.2 million class A shares in Shake Shack Inc as of March 31. Shares in Shake Shack, which were sold in an initial public offering at $21 in January, jumped nearly 10 percent on the Leonard Green news to $72 a share on Friday.

Leonard Green also took a new 990,000 share stake in Bed Bath and Beyond Inc.

Also, top U.S. hedge fund management firms, including Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors and Philippe Laffont's Coatue Management, continued to reduce or slash stakes altogether in Apple Inc during the first quarter as shares of the iPhone maker rallied.

The actions were revealed in quarterly disclosures of manager stock holdings, known as 13F filings, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. They are of great interest to investors trying to divine a pattern in what savvy traders are selling and buying.   Continued...