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What Expect From Sohn On Monday: Ackman Says 'All Aboard'

The Sohn Conference is tomorrow and it’s sporting an impressive list of activist investors. There’s a lot been said about who’s pitching what. Here’s the schedule, followed by a quick primer on what to expect from the pitches.

David Einhorn is the first speaking, suggesting he just doesn’t have anything exciting to present, or maybe he’ll just push his athenahealth short again. The name is down just 10% after Dave bashed it at last year’s Sohn conference. Or, Dave may just rehash his AerCap long from the Grant conference last month. Or...he could reclaim his rockstar status and present a short Tesla thesis.

Barry Rosenstein will be following up Dave and it seems logical that he’ll be talking Qualcomm; touting his plans to break up the semiconductor company. Harder than expected, however.

Then there’s Keith Meister from Corvex Management. By all accounts, fried chicken and tacos are on his menu for Sohn. Friday, news hit that he had Yum! Brands as a top 5 holding. Dan Loeb and Third Point also revealed a stake in Yum! on Friday via their 1Q letter.  

Peppered in there as well is Larry Robbins (Glenview), Leon Cooperman (Omega Advisors) and David Tepper (Appaloosa). All worthwhile guys for generating some overarching, broad-based ideas.

Bill Ackman is the closer this year, so have ya popcorn ready. Yet, it likely won’t be any real surprise. Look for big Bill to come out in his conductor hat and pitch CSX, with a focus on the need for consolidation in the railroad industry. Recall that Bill’s initial rail target, Canadian Pacific, was exploring a merger with CSX last year. Canadian Pacific’s lead dog, Hunter Harrison, said just last month that activism in rails was long overdue. The options action in CSX has been reminiscent of what was happening for Canadian Pacific when he was building an activist position there. Ackman will likely be the driving force to get CSX and CP merged.