The $6 Billion Hedge Fund That Predicted the Biggest Takeover of the Year and their Top 5 “Best Ideas”

Today, shareholders of Keurig Green Mountain, (GMCR) woke up to a nice 75% pop in the value of their shares. A private equity firm is taking the company private for $13.9 billion or $92 a share. That’s made GMCR one of the biggest one day movers for an S&P 500 stock this year.

Most interesting, you could have participated in this huge winner.

Just last month, at “The Invest for Kids Chicago” hedge fund conference, Ricky Sandler of the $6.5 billion hedge fund, Eminence Capital, made a detailed presentation on why he thought Keurig Green Mountain was worth $85 to $100 a share. The stock was selling for around $50 at the time and Eminence owned $195,000,000 worth — the largest hedge fund owner of the stock.

Apparently the private equity firm JAB Capital agreed with Sandler. They paid a price at the mid-point of his valuation.

Now, if you were paying attention to this conference and bought the stock, clearly you could have made a lot of money. We attend or read the transcripts from every major hedge fund conference on the planet. These ideas are not often covered in the mainstream press or online media, and therefore are ripe for finding hidden investment gems like GMCR.

Today’s news is just one of many examples of stock takeovers that can be predicted by the presence of an influential investor. For example, just last month, at we predicted the takeover of MedAssets, thanks to the work and presence of activist investor Starboard Value (you can see those details here).

Of course, today’s star performer was Ricky Sandler and Eminence Capital. With that, here are the top 5 best ideas from Eminence Capital.

1) Zynga (ZNGA) – Another top idea Sadler presented at “The Invest for Kids Chicago” conference was Zynga. Sadler say Zynga is undervalued because it has $500 million in real estate (its San Francisco Headquarters) and a $1.15 in cash per share, meaning the market is valuing its underlying business for almost nothing. Sandler said if the stock were valued similar to its peer, King Digital, Zynga should be worth $5 a share or a double from its share price today.

2) AIG (AIG) – Another top idea of Eminence Capital is AIG. Eminence owns more than $350 million of AIG stock through a mix of shares and options, more than 5% of its portfolio. Billionaires Carl Icahn and John Paulson also own huge stakes in AIG and Icahn has said AIG could be worth as much as $100 a share or a 50% return from its share price today.

3) GNC (GNC) – GNC is the third largest position in Eminence Capital’s portfolio. It owns 6% of GNC. The stock is extremely undervalued as it has a forward P/E of 9, price to free cash flow of 11, and almost a 3% dividend. These valuation metrics put GNC in that “buyout candidate” territory, just like Keurig Green Mountain.

4) Men’s Wearhouse (MW) – Eminence Capital owns more than 8% of Men’s Wearhouse and has held onto the stock even as it’s been crushed. Men’s Wearhouse has dropped from $65 to $20 this year, making the stock very cheap. It has a price to sales of just .28. It sells below its book value. And it has a forward P/E of just 8 (about that of the S&P 500).

5) Autodesk (ADSK) – Eminence Capital’s top position is Autodesk. They own almost $300 million worth, making it nearly 5% of their portfolio. Autodesk is up 44% over the last 2 months, as it has been rumored to be another takeover candidate. A top $4 billion activist hedge fund, Sachem Head, owns 5.7% of the stock and launched an activist campaign on the company last month., run by two veterans of the hedge fund industry, helps self-directed investors invest alongside the world’s best billionaire investors.

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