Hedge funds reveal biggest buys, sales

Star investment managers purchased technology and energy stocks while paring financial holdings.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 17, 2011 11:03AM

By Chris Stuart, TheStreet


Wall Street's brightest investment minds were required to release their holdings this week, giving mere mortals insight into their strategies.


Here's a breakdown of the top hedge fund and investment managers, and the winning and losing industries and stocks during the second quarter, the latest for which information is available.


In financials, Appaloosa Management, a top-performing hedge fund firm run by David Tepper, cut its bank stock holdings by 6%. Tepper reduced his stake in Bank of America (BAC) by 42%. Citigroup (C) is still Appaloosa's biggest holding, as the hedge fund holds 7.2 million shares. In the quarter, the fund trimmed the stake by 5%.


George Soros cut his financial holdings by 5%, selling off nearly his entire positions in Citigroup and Wells Fargo (WFC).


Paulson & Co. founder John Paulson was also busy trimming his financial holdings in the second quarter. Getting the ax were Bank of America, Citigroup, CIT Group (CIT) and SunTrust Banks (STI), among others. Paulson however, increased his shares in Wells Fargo by 65%, adding 13 million.


Avenue Capital Management, founded by Mark Lasry, unloaded a big stake in Citigroup. The multistrategy hedge fund sold off 87% (or 4.5 million shares) of the fund's position in the struggling banking giant. Lasry also dumped a big position of CIT Group, cutting his stake by over 63%. David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, meanwhile, got rid of its entire CIT Group investment.


On the flip side, Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management increased its position in Citigroup, adding 8.9 million shares for a total of 23.5 million.


Lee Ainslie's Maverick Capital Management added a new stake in Citigroup valued at $447 million, while also nearly doubling its position in JPMorgan (JPM). The New York firm also sold all of its holdings in Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs (GS).


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Daniel Loeb's Third Point fled energy. Among the investments decreased were Williams Cos. (WMB) (stake trimmed by 76%), Abraxas Petroleum (AXAS) (reduced by 67%) and oil refiner Tesoro (TSO) (eliminated from portfolio). Jana Partners was also a big seller of Williams, dumping its 4.6 million shares in its entirety, as did GLG Capital Partners, which sold 1.1 million shares.


Loeb's Third Point made a big push into materials stocks, initiating new buys of Mosaic (MOS), Freeport-McMoran (FCX) and Barrick Gold (ABX).


Tepper made a big splash into the energy and materials industries, increasing his combined stake among the two groups by nearly 14%. New acquisitions in the quarter included Mosaic and Western Refining (WNR), while the hedge fund firm also significantly increasing stakes in CVR Energy (CVI), Valero (VLO), Holly Frontier (HFC) and Tesoro.


In the consumer-discretionary sector, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) reported a new position in Dollar General (DG), while Lee Ainslie's Maverick Capital sold a nearly 15% stake. Brookside Capital and Pennant Capital were big buyers of Dollar General, as each added 2 million shares. Lone Pine Capital, one of the biggest hedge fund holders of Family Dollar (FDO), pared its stake in the discount retailer, while initiating a new stake of 3 million shares in competitor Dollar Tree (DLTR), and adding a small stake to its position in Dollar General.


Buffett also increased his stake in MasterCard (MA) by 88% in the quarter, while reducing his position in Kraft (KFT) by 5%.

Beleaguered media giant News Corp. (NWSA) was also a popular name among hedge funds. Paulson, Maverick Capital, Viking and Citadel all added significant stakes in the quarter.


In technology, Microsoft (MSFT) remains a favorite among hedge funds. Seth Klarman put over $300 million of new money into the company, while Einhorn's Greenlight Capital increased its stake by $150 million. Einhorn also increased investments in disk-drive maker Seagate (STX) and Apple (AAPL), while completely eliminating the firm's stakes in Yahoo (YHOO) and Xerox (XRX). (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)

Aug 17, 2011 3:22PM
lock the hedge funders up , make them buy the stocks at the prices that are speculated.they have ruined the market and all for them to get richer.
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