(Adds Appaloosa Management, Paulson Management and Carl Icahn
By Sam Forgione
May 15 Top U.S. hedge fund managers circled
General Motors after the automaker's shares fell 15.8
percent during the first quarter, with David Tepper's Appaloosa
Management and John Paulson's Paulson Management LP increasing
Paulson Management increased its exposure in GM by 114.9
percent to 4.0 million shares and Appaloosa boosted its GM share
figure by 58.7 percent to 7.9 million shares, regulatory filings
showed on Thursday.
Not every big investor remained positive on GM. Barry
Rosenstein's Jana Partners sold nearly all of its GM stake,
cutting its holding by about 8 million shares to just 7,100
shares. And Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc
decreased its share stake in GM by 25 percent to 30 million
shares, while Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors sold its entire
stake of 1.05 million shares.
The consumer sector was also active in the first quarter,
with investments that included discount retailer Dollar General
Corp and drug store operator Walgreen Co.
Omega opened a new stake of 1.7 million shares in Dollar
General, while Jana increased its stake in Walgreen by 4.8
million shares to 12.1 million shares.
The quarterly disclosures of manager stock holdings, in what
are known as 13F filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission, are always intriguing for investors trying to divine
a pattern in what savvy traders are selling and buying.
But relying on the filings to develop an investment strategy
comes with some peril because the disclosures are backward
looking and come out 45 days after the end of each quarter.
Still, the filings offer a glimpse into what hedge fund
managers saw as opportunities to make money on the long side.
The filings do not disclose short positions, bets that a stock
will fall in price. As a result, the public filings do not
always present a complete picture of a manager's stock holdings.
Here are some of the hot stocks and sectors in which hedge
fund managers either took new positions or exited from in the
Billionaire activist Carl Icahn increased its stake in
Herbalife Ltd by 0.2 percent to 17.0 million, as of
March 31. Icahn's investment fund, which he uses to bet on
stocks with his own money and money belonging to his publicly
traded Icahn Enterprises, fell by 0.4 percent in the first three
months of the year, according to an investment presentation
released by Icahn Enterprises.
Icahn's down quarter meant he trailed the market by a slim
margin, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index returning
1.81 percent in the first quarter. His first-quarter performance
was hit by the drop in the shares of Herbalife, which plunged by
27 percent in the first three months of the year. Icahn is the
biggest shareholder in Herbalife, which hedge fund billionaire
Bill Ackman calls a pyramid scheme and has shorted in a big way.
Tiger Global Management LLC, led by Chase Coleman and Feroz
Dewan, slashed its stake in soft drink producer and distributor
Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc by 14.5 percent to 6.7 million
JPMORGAN CHASE & CO
Omega Advisors increased its stake in JPMorgan Chase & Co
by 1.6 million shares to 1.7 million shares in the first
quarter. The bank's shares rose 3.8 percent in the quarter,
compared with a 2.2 percent gain in the S&P financial index
, which includes all financial shares in the benchmark
S&P 500 stock index.
Jana Partners increased its stake in Groupon Inc's
class A shares by 9.8 million shares to 40.8 million class A
shares. Chase Coleman and Feroz Dewan's Tiger Global Management
got rid of its entire stake in the operator of a
(Compiled by Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Lisa