Seeking Alpha – In a 13G filing made with the SEC due to activity on June 9th, 2009, Lone Pine Capital has disclosed a 7.7% ownership stake in Smithfield Foods (SFD). This is a brand new position for Stephen Mandel’s hedge fund and it now owns 11,116,850 shares. Lone Pine previously did not show a position in SFD when we looked at its entire portfolio, so it has just recently entered the position over the past 2 months or so. In terms of other big bets Lone Pine has made recently, we saw that Mandel likes Strayer Education. He presented this choice at the 2009 Ira Sohn Conference where numerous hedge fund managers each presented an investment idea.
His $7 Billion fund has returned over 25% annually since its inception in 1997, but had a rough year in 2008. The term ‘lone pine’ comes from Mandel’s days at Dartmouth College, where the school has a historical lone pine tree. He is well versed in the ways of finding undervalued companies and he typically likes to sniff out solid companies with good management that are trading below their intrinsic value. In Alpha’s 2009 hedge fund rankings list, Lone Pine was ranked 21st.