Value Investing Congress Day 1: Are the Long Ideas Good … Short Ideas?

Listed below are all the ideas pitched yesterday, the first day of the Value Investing Congress.

Many market participants will look for reasons to agree with the pitched ideas, and will initiate a 1% position if they feel sufficiently comfortable. After all, so-and-so is long ___, has done the research, etc. (of course, this also makes for a convenient excuse if the position goes wrong, and LPs need an answer; blame someone else!).

LST, ever the contrarian, wonders if the longs that were pitched – at least some – might actually end up making good/great shorts (or at least serve as the genesis of some good/great short ideas).

So instead of looking at the ideas pitched as potential longs, LST may look through these (and related names) as potential shorts.

After all, LST doubts that these participants are  sharing their investment theses out of the kindness of their hearts; rather, they hope (and need) a greater fool that will let them exit their positions. To LST, that smells a lot like… motivated sellers.

The Long Ideas:

Bill Ackman / Pershing Square Capital Management – GGP, JCP, PG

Barry Rosenstein / Jana Partners – AGU

Guy Gottfried / Rational Investment Group – CLK, CAM (trade on TSE)

Mick McGuire / Marcato Capital Management – ALEX, GY, BRP

Whitney Tilson / T1 Partners – NFLX, BRK.A, HHC – Tilson suggested he had a short idea in this interview. Not sure what happened.

Kian Ghazi / Hawkshaw Capital – LAYN

John Mauldin / Millennium Wave Advisors – Seems to like MON , though he’s (apparently) more of a “macroeconomic thinker and writer”

The Short Idea

Then there was Zack Buckley / Buckley Capital – He actually had the cojones to pitch a short, SPLK . Ker Splunk.

Make no mistake: some of the above ideas may likely end up being home runs (on the long side). That said, money is often made discounting the obvious, and betting on the unexpected…


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