November 15, 2017 / 8:39 PM / 9 months ago

REUTERS SUMMIT-Light Street Capital's Kacher shorts IBM stock on cash-register concerns

(For other news from Reuters Global Investment 2018 Outlook Summit, see: here)

By David Randall

NEW YORK, Nov 15 - One of the top-performing hedge funds of the year is betting that shares of International Business Machines Corp have further to fall.

Glen Kacher, whose Palo Alto, California-based Light Street Capital hedge fund is up 53 percent this year through October, told the Reuters Global Investment 2018 Outlook Summit on Wednesday that Square Inc’s technology could mean “trouble” for cash register makers such as IBM, VeriFone Systems Inc and Ingenico Group SA.

Kacher said he is shorting the stock of IBM, whose shares have already fallen 11.5 percent for the year to date.

Shares of Square Inc, run by Twitter Inc CEO Jack Dorsey, are up 197 percent for the year to date as it continues to expand its network of devices that allow small businesses to accept debit and credit cards using tablet computers or smart phones.

“What Square has done with their point of sale technology is off the charts stunning,” Kacher said. “The idea that the deli has better technology than Wal-Mart is stunning.”

Shares of IBM were down 1.2 percent on Wednesday, one day after a regulatory filing showed that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc reduced its stake in the company by 32 percent in the third quarter. Over the last year, Buffett has reduced his stake in the company by 52 percent and now owns approximately 37 million shares.

Kacher, who manages approximately $1.1 billion, has his largest long positions in Inc, Facebook Inc , Momo Inc and Match Group Inc, according to the firm’s most recent filing.

Follow Reuters Summits on Twitter @Reuters_Summits (Editing by Jennifer Ablan and Cynthia Osterman)

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