Hedge fund manager David Einhorn said he bungled his campaign to get General Motors Co. to split its stock and conceded he was outmaneuvered by the auto giant.
"They beat us in public relations, they managed to get the rating agencies on their side, they got their sound bites better than ours," Einhorn said at the Capitalize for Kids Investors Conference in Toronto on Wednesday. "It just means we really didn't do an effective job in getting our story across."
The hedge fund kept escalating its case before GM to no avail, the co-founder of Greenlight Capital said. "So now we're out of people who might want to hear us, so we're just going to be quiet about it," he said, adding that he remains convinced the "idea is still great" and that GM is Greenlight's biggest holding. In June, GM shareholders sided with management and rejected Einhorn's proposal.
Greenlight's main hedge fund rose 5.3 percent last month, beating the S&P 500 Index which was up 2.1 percent in the period, including reinvested dividends. The gain reversed the fund's earlier loss, leaving it up 3.5 percent for the year.
Einhorn, in a July 14 investor letter, expressed frustration over the New York firm's bets against a "bubble basket" of momentum-driven technology stocks. In the past, he has said his firm was short shares of Amazon Inc., Tesla Inc., and Athenahealth Inc. Those stocks all fell last month. He remains short on Amazon, Tesla and Netflix Inc., he said Wednesday.
Einhorn also said Wednesday that he fundamentally got his bet on SunEdison Inc. wrong. The money manager unloaded his remaining shares in the company's two yieldcos in the fourth quarter of 2016, Bloomberg News reported in February.
The firm is also short sovereign debt in Europe, particularly Germany and France. He called bitcoin a "speculative instrument" and said he's not involved in it.