David Einhorn, whose Greenlight Capital hedge fund ranked among last year’s worst performers, told investors on Tuesday that he has made new bets on stocks including battered retailer Macy’s (M) and is currently concentrating on delivering better returns.
Einhorn’s fund, which had only one other losing year since opening for business in 1996, tumbled 20.2% in 2015. Acknowledging that “we have never had a year where so little went right,” Einhorn pledged that the firm would “concentrate on trying to make better returns.”
But whether the billionaire investor is succeeding some three weeks into 2016 was not clear, considering he has already lost money on the Macy’s bet and three of his top five investments, Apple (AAPL), Consol Energy (CNX), and General Motors (GM) are losing money this year.
Still, shares of Macy’s jumped 4% on Tuesday following the announcement.
The fund manager also explained what contributed to 2015’s loss, where he lost money every quarter and bet that Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN), two of the best performing stocks, would fall while losing stocks would gain.
In a letter sent to investors and seen by Reuters, Einhorn said he paid $45.69 a share for its Macy’s position, getting into an investment where activist hedge fund Starboard Value has been pressing the 158-year old retailer for months to sell off some real estate holdings.
Macy’s is up about 12% this year, but down from where Greenlight got in.
2016 should be better, Einhorn said, after unseasonably warm weather and a strong dollar weighed on recent sales.
He is also holding open the chance for a change in the company’s structure, noting “it wouldn’t surprise us if a private equity firm teamed up with a REIT to buy the company and unlock the value privately.”