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Loeb's Third Point hedge fund up 19.4 percent through October

BOSTON, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb told investors that his Third Point Offshore Fund had returned 19.4 percent this year, ranking it among the industry's best performers.

In October, Loeb's fund gained 1.2 percent while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 4.6 percent, according to information sent to clients and seen by Reuters.

With bets on Sotheby's and Japan's economic recovery, among others, Loeb has made investments around the world through a variety of strategies, including an activist bent where he is pushing for change at the auction house.

Like other managers, Loeb did not say which positions drove performance last month, saving those kinds of comments for his quarterly letters.

The average hedge fund has gained only about 5.5 percent this year, making Loeb's current performance stand out. But the fund manager is not taking in new money and is in fact returning some to clients later this year to guard against growing too large.

Many hedge fund managers are just now tallying their monthly numbers, but rival investor William Ackman, who also makes activist bets, already informed clients that he had a very strong month in which his main fund climbed 7.9 percent. That lifts his year-to-date returns to 8.5 percent, helping erase the effects of losses in July and August.