Hedge fund Glenview off 30% as coronavirus weighs on portfolio

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BOSTON (Reuters) – Glenview Capital Management, the hedge fund run by Larry Robbins, has lost roughly 30% in the first three months of 2020 as the spread of the new coronavirus hurt the healthcare facilities and hospital operators the firm has invested in.

FILE PHOTO: Larry Robbins, Founder, CEO and Portfolio Manager for Glenview Capital Management, LLC speaks during the 2019 Sohn Investment Conference in New York City, U.S., May 6, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The $6.7 billion firm, which invests heavily in healthcare stocks, said this week that its Glenview Capital Partners fund tumbled 19.5% in March, leaving it down 30.48% in the first three months of the year, according to data compiled by investment firm HSBC and seen by Reuters.

Last year the fund returned 26.28%.

By comparison data from Hedge Fund Research shows that the average global hedge fund lost 5.88% in March, leaving it down 6.85% for the first three months.

A spokesman for Glenview declined to comment.

Robbins’ heavily healthcare-focused portfolio performed well in the wake of healthcare overhaul in the United States. Insurers and healthcare facility operators had gotten a boost when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010 as more coverage was expected to help their returns. But the spread of the novel coronavirus is straining hospitals and healthcare facilities, and is now weighing on the portfolio.

Healthcare facilities are being swamped with sick patients, including many elderly who are on lower paying Medicare health insurance, and are being forced to postpone more lucrative elective surgeries.

Healthcare facilities operator HCA Healthcare Inc ranked as Glenview’s biggest investment at the end of the last year. This year, stock price has fallen 45%. Hospital operator Tenet Healthcare Corp, whose stock has lost 67% since January, ranked as Glenview’s third-largest investment at the end of 2019, according to a regulatory filing.

Glenview has been watching the spread of the new coronavirus for weeks and was among a handful of prominent firms to take action in late February when it announced that it was postponing an investor conference planned for April 22.

The firm said it hoped to host the event at a later date in 2020.

Glenview isn’t the only prominent hedge fund firm to suffer losses this year, hedge fund industry investors said. David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital lost 21.5% in the first quarter after a 12% drop in March and Daniel Loeb’s Third Point Offshore Fund fell 11% in March, leaving it down 16% for the first quarter.

Spokespeople for the firms declined to comment.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; with additional reporting by Lawrence Delevingne; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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