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David Einhorn is one of the hedge fund stars we follow and occasionally imitate. Einhorn got the green light from his wife in 1996 and launched Greenlight Capital with a small amount of money, most of which came from his parents. During the past 15 years, Einhorn managed to deliver an average annual return of 21.5%. Greenlight Capital usually has about 50% net exposure to the market, which makes its performance more impressive. In 2010, Greenlight returned 15.9%.

Today, Greenlight Capital is a $7 billion hedge fund with investments mostly in the U.S. and Europe. At the end of 2010 Einhorn’s 13F portfolio had $4.9 billion in stocks and options. Here are David Einhorn’s top positions:

Company

Ticker

Return

Value (Millions)

ENSCO PLC

ESV

7.8%

481

CARDINAL HEALTH INC

CAH

6.7%

406

PFIZER INC

PFE

15.1%

405

CITIGROUP INC NEW

C

-10.9%

346

CAREFUSION CORP

CFN

6.1%

344

APPLE INC

AAPL

5.8%

270

SPRINT NEXTEL CORP

S

5.7%

236

MARKET VEC. GOLD MINERS

GDX

-5.4%

218

MICROSOFT CORP

MSFT

-8.8%

215

NCR CORP NEW

NCR

20.7%

176

BECTON DICKINSON & CO

BDX

-7.2%

163

XEROX CORP

XRX

-12.0%

156

M I DEVELOPMENTS INC

MIM

2.6%

153

EINSTEIN NOAH RESTAURANT

BAGL

14.3%

151

BP PLC

BP

4.5%

147

TRAVELERS COMPANIES INC

TRV

5.3%

119

ASPEN INSURANCE

AHL

-6.7%

118

LYONDELLBASELL

LYB

13.5%

89

NVR INC

NVR

8.9%

86

EVEREST RE GROUP LTD

RE

-3.2%

83

HEALTH MANAGEMENT

HMA

6.5%

62

TRANSATLANTIC HOLDINGS

TRH

-8.8%

62

HEALTH NET INC

HNT

12.9%

62

POTASH CORP

POT

6.7%

59

BROADRIDGE FINANCIAL SOL

BR

-2.8%

58

SEMGROUP CORP

SEMG

21.4%

52

INGRAM MICRO INC

IM

5.6%

49

EMPLOYERS HOLDINGS INC

EIG

15.5%

41

FIFTH STREET FINANCE CORP

FSC

11.3%

28

ENERGY PARTNERS LTD

EPL

9.0%

26

REPUBLIC AIRWAYS HOLDINGS

RJET

-16.0%

25

VERIGY LTD

VRGY

9.1%

20

BIOFUEL ENERGY CORP

BIOF

-50.6%

13

SYMMETRICOM INC

SYMM

-16.8%

12

FURIEX PHARMACEUTICALS

FURX

12.9%

7

FLAGSTAR BANCORP INC

FBC

-9.8%

3

MDC HOLDINGS INC

MDC

-8.8%

2

CAPITOL FEDERAL FINANCIAL

CFFN

-4.3%

1

Einhorn’s top 13F holdings returned 3.6% so far in 2011, vs. SPY’s 3.3% return. His top three positions managed to beat the market by at least 3.4 percentage points each. Jonathan Auerbach’s Hound Partners and Craig Effron’s Scoggin are other hedge funds with ESV holdings. Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) is also Roberto Mignone’s top position. Hedge fund stars like Lee Ainslie, David Tepper, and Curtis Schenker all own PFE in their portfolio. Bridger’s Roberto Mignone sold all his Pfizer holdings during the fourth quarter.

In addition to these stocks, David Einhorn also has some European stock holdings that he didn’t have to disclose. One of his biggest positions is Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD). Earlier this year in an interview with us, David Einhorn also stated that his favorite long pick for 2011 is Dutch insurer Delta Lloyd. Since that interview Delta Lloyd gained 20%.

Source: David Einhorn's Favorite Stock Picks, Better Returns Than S&P 500