Seth Klarman, Meryl Witmer: Q4 2009 Hedge Fund Moves

by: Davy Bui

The ever-secretive Seth Klarman and his Baupost Group filed their 13F-HR filing for Q4 2009:

  • Eye-catching new position in CIT Group (NYSE:CIT) was the sole new position in Baupost's filing. As mentioned numerously in previous postings, Klarman thrives on complexity and uses his army of analysts to seek out thorny opportunities which scare off average investors. CIT may be one such investment. The other new positions were a result of the Liberty Media (LCAPA) / DirecTV (DTV) transaction.
  • The latest filing also shows an absence of a wide number of warrants as compared to Q3's report. Whether this was a result of a change in reporting requirements or a broad move out of acquisition companies is unclear to me.
  • Among existing holdings, Klarman's biggest moves were sizable additions to stakes in Enzon Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ENZN) and Viasat (NASDAQ:VSAT).

Meryl Witmer, who recently discussed some of her stock picks in the Barron's roundtable [$], seemed mostly bullish in Q4 judging by the activity in her 13F-HR filing:

  • Big new positions in Compass Minerals (NYSE:CMP), the salt miner, and Stewart Information Services (NYSE:STC), a poorly-named title insurance company.
  • Witmer also more than doubled down on positions in E Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC) and Altisource Portfolio Solutions (NASDAQ:ASPS), a real estate asset management firm.
  • Witmer's firm sold their Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX) stake and slightly pared their First American Corp (NYSE:FAF) position but for the most part, activity was bullish.

You can view their holdings in spreadsheet format:

See other managers' 13F-HR filings here.

Disclosure: No positions