Harbinger Bounces Back In June, July

Aug 16 2012 | 11:40am ET

Harbinger Capital Management has put the brakes on what looked like an inexorable death spiral.

The New York-based hedge fund, wracked by the troubles faced by its wireless Internet venture and fighting a Securities and Exchange Commission fraud lawsuit, has recovered this summer. The $3 billion firm recorded impressive gains of 28% in June and 10.6% last month, the New York Post reports, almost erasing its losses for the first five months of the year.

Through July, Harbinger is down 5.8%—hardly great, but impressive following its 29.6% drop in February and its seemingly endless troubles. Harbinger still has a long way to go, of course; it lost 47% last year and is fighting for the very survival of both its Internet company, LightSquared, and itself, as the SEC is seeking to ban founder Philip Falcone, whom it accuses of taking an improper loan from the hedge fund to pay his taxes, of granting Goldman Sachs preferential redemption treatment and of market manipulation.

Harbinger's renaissance is due to the performance of its permanent capital vehicle, Harbinger Group. That company's shares have more than doubled in price over the last two months, before falling back somewhat recently. The jump coincided with a positive research report from the only firm that currently covers the stock.

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