Short-seller Chanos still bearish on PC-makers Dell, HP: CNBC

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 24, 2013 1:01 PM
Short-seller Chanos still bearish on PC-makers Dell, HP: CNBC

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager James Chanos told CNBC on Wednesday that he was still betting against the shares of computer-makers Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

Chanos, noted for predicting the downfall of Enron and more recently a vocal bear on the Chinese economy, told CNBC that the "PC (personal computer) business is falling apart" and the industry faces structural problems.

"The real structural issue is these companies are behind the eight-ball," Chanos said. "The secular story has not gone away."

Chanos, who is president and founder of short-selling firm Kynikos Associates, has criticized Hewlett Packard for failing to keep up with competitors in the mobile and cloud computing space.

The hedge fund manager said his roughly $6 billion firm had gotten out of its Dell trade last year, then began to short the stock again in 2013. If a hedge fund manager is short a stock, he believes its price will fall.

"I shorted into the deal," Chanos said, referring to a $24.4 billion deal to take the company private for $13.65 a share.

"I'm puzzled as a financial analyst and a business analyst why this is an attractive deal," he added, noting that Dell's "cash flow is plummeting."

He said his New York-based firm has a small long position in iPad maker Apple Inc, and added he had never shorted that technology company.

Chanos also told CNBC that nutritional supplement company Herbalife is "not a viable business long-term."

Herbalife has been at the center of a war-of-words between two well-known hedge fund managers William Ackman and Carl Icahn, who are short and long the stock respectively.

Chanos, who had a short position in Herbalife in 2012 and closed out position in the fourth quarter, said the "multi-level marketing model is flawed."

(Reporting by Katya Wachtel; Editing by David Gregorio and Bob Burgdorfer)