* Einhorn nursed loss in December which shrunk year's gain
* Apple, gold hurt Einhorn and Loeb
* Loeb won on Greek bonds, Yahoo
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Matthew Goldstein
BOSTON/NEW YORK, Jan 4 Two widely followed hedge
fund managers ended the year on divergent notes with Daniel
Loeb handily beating the broader stock market with double-digit
returns while David Einhorn posted only a modest single-digit
annual gain after his flagship fund performed poorly in
For Einhorn, who has moved stock prices by simply opening
his mouth, 2012 ended with lackluster returns when his
Greenlight Capital lost 2.8 percent in December, a person
familiar with the fund's performance said.
Thanks to losses on computer maker and market darling Apple
and in the gold market, Einhorn's investors saw their
once healthy double-digit gain shrivel late in the year to leave
Greenlight Capital with an 8.3 percent increase for 2012.
Einhorn lagged behind the broader stock market where the S&P
500 index ended the year with a 13.4 percent gain, excluding
dividends. The average global hedge fund gained only 3.17
percent, according to data from Hedge Fund Research.
The disappointing end of the year performance at Greenlight
Capital illustrates how even a highly influential manager like
Einhorn, who has enjoyed something of a cult following in the $2
trillion hedge fund industry ever since his bearish call on
Lehman Brothers in early 2008, can stumble.
For much of the year speculation mounted over which stocks
Einhorn would pick or pan with General Motors and Marvell
Technology Group getting thumbs up from the manager.
But Marvell's stock price tumbled at the end of the year
after it was ordered to pay $1.17 billion to settle a patent
infringement lawsuit likely costing Greenlight Capital millions
A spokesman for Einhorn was not immediately available for
At the same time, Einhorn clearly failed to cash in on
supplements company Herbalife where his probing
questions on a conference call in May sent the company's share
price tumbling and seemed to hint that he was preparing to short
the stock price.
But in the end it was William Ackman's Pershing Square
Capital Management that unveiled its own big short against
Herbalife in late December, helping salvage an otherwise
lackluster year for the $11 billion fund. Pershing Square gained
5.8 percent in December to end the year up 12.4 percent, an
investor in the fund said.
Meanwhile Loeb, known for his sharp tongue and muscle in
trying to get some big U.S. companies to shape up their
business, had another stellar year, investors said.
His Third Point Ultra fund, which uses borrowed money to
boost returns, delivered a 33.5 percent gain while his Third
Point Offshore fund gained 21.1 percent.
While Loeb was also hurt by a drop in the price of Apple and
gold, he more than made up for it with savvy bets on Greek
government bonds and Yahoo
Third Point was not available for comment.
(Reporting By Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Matthew Goldstein;
Editing by Alden Bentley)