HIGHLIGHTS-Hedge funds cut eBay, Leonard Green hot on Shake Shack

Fri May 15, 2015 7:10pm EDT
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(Adds Greenlight Capital, Appaloosa Management)

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 positions in the e-commerce company's shares during the first quarter, according to regulatory filings.

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

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

Leonard Green & Partners LP, one of the nation's top 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. Shake Shack shares, which sold at $21 in an initial public offering in January, jumped nearly 10 percent on the news to more than $72 a share, before closing up 5.94 percent at $69.39.

Leonard Green also took a new 990,000 share stake in Bed Bath and Beyond Inc. Bed Bath and Beyond shares ended the day up 5.31 percent to $73.35.

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...