Billionaire hedge-fund manager Tepper adds contrarian energy stocks

FILE PHOTO -- David Tepper, founder of Apploosa Management, speaks during the Sohn Investment Conference in New York May 4, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hedge-fund manager David Tepper, known for taking positions in out-of-favor companies in his Appaloosa Management hedge fund, added stakes in embattled Wells Fargo Co and several energy companies in the second quarter as the price of oil fell, according to quarterly filings released Monday.

Among the six new energy companies Tepper added to his fund were Antero Resources Corp, Southwestern Energy Co, and Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Shares of each company are down by 20 percent or more year-to-date as part of a broad sell-off in energy companies. The price of oil hit a 9-month low in June due to concerns about a glut of supply. Overall, energy companies in the S&P 500 are down 12.7 percent for the year through Friday, compared with a 9.3 percent gain in the broad index.

Tepper, who manages roughly $17 billion overall, bought approximately 681,000 shares of Wells Fargo during the quarter. Shares of the company are down 4 percent for the year as the company faces the ramifications of a scandal over unauthorized account openings and lawsuits that charged it modified borrower’s mortgages without their authorization.

Overall, shares of financial stocks in the S&P 500 gained 6.9 percent for the year through Friday.

In addition to energy and financial companies, Tepper took a roughly 3.7 million-share stake in Chinese online retailer Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd, making it the third-largest holding in the fund. Dan Loeb’s Third Point once again has a stake in Alibaba, having bought 4.5 million shares during the second quarter. Shares of the company are up 76 percent year-to-date after the company raised its revenue forecast in June.

Other new additions to the fund included down-market retailer Dollar General Corp, mall-based retailer L Brands Inc, and travel bookings site Expedia Inc, filings show.

Among technology stocks, Tepper added approximately 449,000 shares of Facebook Inc, increasing his stake in the company by 23 percent, and sold all of his shares of Snap Inc. Shares of the social media company have slid 14 percent since its $3.4 billion initial public offering in March on increased investor concerns that the company may never turn a profit.

Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Jennifer Ablan and Phil Berlowitz