UPDATE 1-Paulson adds Exxon, Goldman Sachs

Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:48pm EDT

* Paulson adds energy giant Exxon to portfolio

* Adds Goldman shares in an ironic Wall Street twist

* Raises holding in Beazer Homes

BOSTON, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager John Paulson, who has been betting on a strong U.S. economic recovery, added a top energy company and a Wall Street bank while also raising his stake in a homebuilder during the second quarter.

Paulson's New York-based Paulson & Co added a new position to his portfolio when he bought 9.2 million shares in energy giant Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) in April, May and June, according to regulatory documents filed on Monday.

The firm joined top hedge fund managers like Carl Icahn, Eric Mindich and Dinakar Singh who all made bets on various beaten-down energy stocks after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico caused the worst-ever oil spill.

At the same time, Paulson, whose investing savvy was established when he correctly bet the U.S. housing market would collapse in 2007, clearly expects the economy to come back as he is sticking with his bets on some of the country's biggest lenders.

He also picked up one million shares of Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N) in the second-quarter, which may be some of the most fitting piece of Wall Street poetry to come out of this latest round of 13-F filings.

Paulson's fund will forever be linked with Goldman because it was the hedge fund at the heart of the Securities and Exchange Commission's civil fraud case against the Wall Street bank. The SEC, in April, charged Goldman with failing to disclose that Paulson's hedge fund had a hand in picking securities for a complex mortgage-related deal that the hedge fund was betting against.

And although regulators didn't charge Paulson's hedge fund with any wrongdoing, his investors became so nervous that he was forced to hold a series of conference calls to explain the matter over and over. Before the matter was settled, Paulson's sterling reputation was tarnished a bit.

After making a five million share bet on Beazer Homes USA (BZH.N) in the first quarter Paulson raised the holding to 5.8 million share in the second quarter.

At the end of the second quarter Paulson told his investors that he is modestly less bullish about the U.S. economy but still expects it to bounce back. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Matthew Goldstein; editing by Bernard Orr)

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