Feb 14 Hedge fund heavyweights from Leon
Cooperman's Omega Advisors to Barry Rosenstein's Jana Partners
threw in the towel on Apple Inc in the fourth quarter,
while other managers found discount retailers Dollar General
Corp and Dollar Tree Inc attractive, regulatory
filings showed on Thursday.
Apple has been the topic du jour since last week, when
prominent hedge fund manager David Einhorn sued the company to
get it to deploy its $137 billion cash pile more effectively and
halt a 35 percent drop in its share price from a record high in
Cooperman, whose hedge fund had $7 billion in assets as of
last November, sold his entire stake of 266,404 shares in Apple,
as did Rosenstein, who held more than 143,000 shares.
Consumer- and retail-related stocks appear to have been the
flavor of the fourth quarter.
Patrick McCormack's $2 billion Tiger Consumer Management
LLC took a new, 2.15 million-share stake in discount retailer
Dollar Tree, while Farallon Capital Management LLC bought 4.3
million shares of Dollar General.
The quarterly disclosures of manager stock holdings - in
so-called 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.
The filings also offer insight into how managers positioned
themselves at year end to benefit from the big run-up in stock
prices in early 2013.
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 can offer a glimpse into what hedge fund
managers saw as opportunities to make money on the long side.
The filings don't disclose short positions, bets that a stock
will fall in price. And there's also little disclosure on bonds
and other securities that don't trade on exchanges.
Here then are some of the hot stocks and sectors in which
hedge fund managers either took new positions or exited from in
the fourth quarter.
CONSUMER AND RETAIL
Farallon Capital Management LLC, the hedge fund founded by
Thomas Steyer, took a new stake in retailer Sally Beauty
Holdings of 4.7 million shares and Jana initiated a new
position in retailer Fifth & Pacific Companies (formerly
Liz Claiborne Inc) of 3.3 million shares.
Tiger Consumer Management cut its stake in luxury retailer
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. by 394,269 shares to 1.6
Tiger Global Management also trimmed Apple, to 1.05 million
shares from 1.3 million, and sold all of its 698,000 shares of
Google and its 11.7 million-share stake in Facebook
. Tiger slashed its Yahoo position to 14 million
shares from 25 million.
The hedge fund, run by Chase Coleman and Feroz Dewan,
invests roughly $6 billion and has been a darling of the
investment community for delivering a string of strong returns
at a time many hedge funds were up only low single digits.
Industry legend Julian Robertson gave the fund its start.
Tiger Global also opened a new 1 million-share stake in
First Solar, which was one of January's biggest losers,
as it was down 8.75 percent.
Eton Park Capital Management, a $12 billion hedge fund run
by former Goldman Sachs trader Eric Mindich, sold its entire
148,000 stake in U.S. lender CIT Group. CIT held
preliminary talks over the past year and a half to sell itself
to banks, including Toronto-Dominion Bank and Wells Fargo
& Co, but nothing came of the conversations, according
to three people familiar with the specialty finance