Are hedge funds buying or selling?

A look at the trades of the top gurus this quarter.

By GuruFocus.com May 23, 2012 5:21PM
We have updated the first-quarter portfolios of all the hedge fund gurus we follow. The idea? By looking at their trades, we can get an idea of what they think about the market.

The table below illustrates the summary of the trades of hedge fund gurus in the first quarter.

"Buy impact" is defined as the impact of the trades for the stocks they have either added or bought into. "Sell impact" is the impact for the stocks that they have sold out or reduced. "Net buy" is the difference between "buy impact" and "sell impact." Apparently those with a higher net buy were more bullish. Those with a higher negative net buy were bearish.

Guru Firm Portfolio Size ($M) Buy Impact (%) Sell Impact (%) Net Buy (%)
David Tepper Appaloosa Management LP 4052 80.13 -16.89 63.24
Kyle Bass Hayman Advisors 143 67.42 -5.18 62.24
Daniel Loeb Third Point, LLC 4061 63.116 -39.432 23.684
Joel Greenblatt Gotham Capital 1150 37.6149 -22.1567 15.4582
Julian Robertson Tiger Management 353 32.9 -18.25 14.65
T Boone Pickens BP Capital 174 31.08 -18.22 12.86
Louis Moore Bacon Moore Capital Management, LP 6327 41.8679 -34.3813 7.4866
Leon Cooperman Omega Advisors 5008 26.509 -19.1053 7.4037
Zeke Ashton Centaur Capital Partners 78 25.25 -20.16 5.09
Andreas Halvorsen Viking Global Investors LP 12250 45.4279 -41.21 4.2179
David Nierenberg D3 Family of Funds 267 9.06 -6.26 2.8
Tom Russo Gardner Russo & Gardner 6186 2.7341 -0.7639 1.9702
Jim Simons Renaissance Technologies LLC 28474 30.6755 -29.5189 1.1566
Mohnish Pabrai Pabrai Mohnish 325 41.6 -40.54 1.06
Steven Cohen SAC Capital Advisors 22243 41.4252 -41.1278 0.2974
Wilbur Ross Invesco Private Capital 1624 0.47 -0.71 -0.24
Glenn Greenberg Brave Warrior Capital 1362 14.87 -16.39 -1.52
Michael Price MFP Investors LLC 703 16.306 -18.007 -1.701
Steve Mandel Lone Pine Capital 16447 21.91 -25.39 -3.48
Whitney Tilson T2 Partners Management, LP 345 15.3302 -19.09 -3.7598
Ray Dalio Bridgewater Associates 6429 11.0543 -14.969 -3.9147
John Paulson Paulson & Co. 14961 9.78 -13.8296 -4.0496
Irving Kahn Kahn Brothers 551 1.94 -7.178 -5.238
Private Capital Private Capital Management 1428 4.948 -10.808 -5.86
John Griffin Blue Ridge Capital 6043 15.9 -22.424 -6.524
Manning & Napier Advisors, Inc Manning & Napier Advisors 19442 11.5987 -18.2406 -6.6419
Richard Pzena Pzena Investment Management LLC 9681 5.3439 -12.24 -6.8961
Larry Robbins Glenview Capital 5538 17.934 -24.84 -6.906
Richard Perry Perry Capital 2079 32.968 -39.96 -6.992
Paul Tudor Jones The Tudor Group 2943 31.9403 -39.2387 -7.2984
Bill Ackman Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. 8074 0.21 -8.66 -8.45
Eric Mindich Eton Park Capital Management, L.P. 7964 10.941 -20.91 -9.969
Richard Blum Blum Capital Partners 1388 0.91 -11.62 -10.71
Robert Karr Joho Capital 472 11.39 -23.06 -11.67
David Einhorn Greenlight Capital 5535 2.75 -14.876 -12.126
George Soros Soros Fund Management LLC 6837 21.8072 -34.428 -12.6208
Lee Ainslie Maverick Capital 6953 32.9 -45.6973 -12.7973
Seth Klarman The Baupost Group 2957 1.68 -14.74 -13.06
Chase Coleman Tiger Global Management LLC 5940 13.328 -27.699 -14.371
Bruce Kovner Caxton Associates 1546 68.245 -88.4577 -20.2127
Carl Icahn Icahn Capital Management LP 9775 8.42 -33.23 -24.81

We can see David Tepper and Kyle Bass were the heaviest buyers in the first quarter. David Tepper has been very good at catching market bottoms. He has usually bought into the market when investors are scared. It is interesting to see him buying heavily as the market reached multiyear highs. David Tepper bought heavily into technology stocks including QQQ, Apple (AAPL), and Google (GOOG). You can see his trades here.

Kyle Bass has been bearish for a while. But he also bought heavily in the first quarter. Interestingly, he is also heavily into technology stocks. He bought telecom companies such as Alcatel (ALU) and Tellabs (TLAB). You can see the details of Bass’ trades here.

Hedge fund managers like David Einhorn, Seth Klarman and George Soros are evidently more bearish, as they have sold a lot more stocks than they bought.

To see the consensus buys and sells, please go to the aggregated holdings of Gurus, or try our new All-in-One Screener. Guru Sector Trend will tell you which industry they are buying into.

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