Billionaire Mason Hawkins' Top Stock Picks

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 |  Includes: CHK, DELL, FDX, L, T
by: Insider Monkey

By Alex Oleinic

Billionaire Mason Hawkins is one fund manager we follow very closely. No more than 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter, institutional investors are required to file their 13F forms with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Southeastern Asset Management recently disclosed its holdings; the original 13F can be found here. Our research has shown that retail investors can beat the market significantly by piggybacking hedge funds (discover the secrets of this strategy here).

Number One

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) is the most valuable equity in the 13F portfolio of Southeastern Asset Management. The fund disclosed ownership of 89,428,818 shares, worth $1.8 billion, vs. a $1.4 billion position in the previous 13F. With a year-to-date return of above 24%, Chesapeake Energy has one of the highest YTD returns in the energy sector, which has an aggregate year-to-date return of close to 6%, according to Morningstar. Our database indicates that more than 30 elite hedge funds held shares of Chesapeake Energy heading into 2013, so it's important track the energy giant as this quarter's filings continue to come in.

Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) is second on the list with a $1.7 billion position, which contains 121,392,858 shares. The equity's value went up from $1.3 billion in the first quarter, and the fund previously held 123,325,558 shares of Dell heading into this year. Of the funds we track, 50 hedgies -- including Southeastern -- were bullish on Dell at the end of 2012. Dell's stock sports a forward P/E of 8.1x and has a year-to-date return of nearly 33%.

In Loews Corporation (NYSE:L), Mason Hawkins' hedge fund reported a $1.6 billion holding, up from $1.5 billion posted last year, when it had the largest value in the equity portfolio of Southeastern. The stake contains 37,506,153 shares of the company, slightly below the previous amount of 37,689,638 shares. The stock of this holding company has a year-to-date return of above 12% and sports the second highest P/E (40.59) among the companies in the property and casualty insurance industry.

The Best of the Rest

DIRECTV (DTV) is also on this list as Southeastern disclosed owning 28,866,656 shares, worth $1.6 billion at the end of the first quarter. In the previous filing, the hedge fund reported 25,794,847 shares, worth $1.3 billion. The market cap of DIRECTV amounts to $35.74 billion and is the second largest among companies from the CATV industry, with the first position belonging to Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) ($113.74 billion). DIRECTV has one of the highest YTD returns among the pay TV players at nearly 28%, almost twice that of the industry average. More than 40 of the hedge funds we track held DIRECTV heading into 2013, so we'll continue to pay attention to this stock.

We should also mention FedEx (NYSE:FDX) with a $1.6 billion holding, which contains 16,598,493 shares, up from the previous disclosure of 16,295,086 shares, worth $1.5 billion. In the industry of air delivery and freight services, FedEx has the second-largest market cap, which amounts to $31.31 billion. We should also mention that the P/E of FedEx rests at 17x, one of the lowest in the industry. A return of nearly 10% since the start of the year is solid, and we can see why it remains an important part of Hawkins' equity portfolio.

Disclosure: I am long DELL, CHK.

Business relationship disclosure: This article is written by Insider Monkey writer Alex Oleinic, and edited by Jake Mann. They don't have any business relationships with any of the companies mentioned in this article and they didn't receive compensation (other than from Insider Monkey and Seeking Alpha) to write this article.