Einhorn’s Greenlight Fund Shows Bets Against Amazon, Netflix

  • Money manager questions surging prices for the two stocks
  • Main hedge fund coming off one of its worst years, down 20%

Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn is betting against popular growth stocks Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc.

The positions were disclosed to clients this week at the firm’s annual meeting, according to a copy of the presentation obtained by Bloomberg.

David Einhorn
David Einhorn
Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Amazon and Netflix both more than doubled in value last year. Einhorn, in the firm’s presentation, pointed to differences between the two companies and more established brands such as Apple Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc. 

“Analysts strain to justify ever high” prices for Amazon shares, according to Greenlight’s presentation. A wager against the Internet giant cost the investment firm 1.3 percentage points of performance last year.

Einhorn’s main hedge fund declined 20 percent in 2015, its second losing year since it was started in 1996. The fund has averaged gains of 16.5 percent annually.

GM, Tesla

“Time Warner has proven people will pay enough for its service to make good margins, while Netflix will need price increases,” the presentation continued. A bet that Time Warner would rise and a wager that Netflix would fall were both among the firm’s 15 worst-performing positions last year.

The presentation also compared the stock prices of General Motors Co., Greenlight’s second-largest disclosed long position at the end of the third quarter, with Tesla Motors Inc., without indicating whether Greenlight was betting against the latter company.

The presentation also showed that Greenlight had made money betting against oil exploration and production company Continental Resources Inc. and semiconductor maker Intel Corp., while it lost money shorting Martin Marietta Materials Inc. The presentation didn’t indicate whether Greenlight still owned those positions.

Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for the firm at Sard Verbinnen & Co., declined to comment on the positions.

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