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Leon Cooperman was the CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He worked at Goldman Sachs for 25 years. In 1991, he left Goldman and started Omega Advisors. He has been extremely bullish about US equities for a while now. He thinks interest rates are going to go up, so he urges investors to consider stocks instead of bonds. So far he has been right.

At the end of 2010 his largest positions were Atlas Energy (ATLS), SLM Corp (SLM), and KKR Financial (KFN). He had more than $4 Billion in stocks in his 13F portfolio at the end of December. This week he filed another 13F form, disclosing his holdings as of March 31st. Here are his favorite stock picks.

Company

Ticker

Return (YTD)

Return (since March 31st)

Value (Millions)

SLM CORP

SLM

33.1%

9.5%

274

ATLAS PIPELINE PARTNERS

APL

42.4%

0.3%

195

LINN ENERGY LLC

LINE

6.9%

1.3%

158

KKR FINANCIAL HOLDINGS

KFN

12.3%

5.2%

151

ENERGY XXI BERMUDA

EXXI

24.8%

1.2%

139

TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL

TEVA

-9.2%

-6.0%

113

XL GROUP PLC

XL

10.9%

-2.2%

112

3M CO

MMM

11.6%

2.4%

108

WELLPOINT INC

WLP

40.9%

14.4%

105

E*TRADE FINANCIAL CORP

ETFC

2.5%

4.9%

104

GENERAL MOTORS CO

GM

-14.2%

1.9%

99

UNITED CONTINENTAL

UAL

8.2%

12.1%

96

DISCOVERY COMM

DISCK

8.7%

13.3%

95

MICROSOFT CORP

MSFT

-7.5%

1.1%

91

SPDR GOLD TRUST

GLD

6.6%

5.7%

87

BROADRIDGE FINANCIAL SOL

BR

6.0%

1.8%

87

WILLIAMS COS INC

WMB

28.9%

1.8%

86

ATLAS ENERGY LP

ATLS

63.1%

9.0%

85

MGIC INVESTMENT CORP

MTG

-16.0%

-3.7%

81

JPMORGAN CHASE & CO

JPM

7.2%

-1.5%

79

VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS

VZ

7.7%

-1.3%

78

DENBURY RESOURCES INC

DNR

11.4%

-12.9%

75

CABLEVISION SYSTEMS

CVC

4.0%

1.4%

75

CVS CAREMARK CORP

CVS

8.6%

9.6%

73

FORD MOTOR CO

F

-9.8%

1.6%

71

SUNOCO INC

SUN

5.9%

-6.7%

65

ALTISOURCE PORTFOLIO

ASPS

20.0%

12.3%

61

TIME WARNER INC

TWX

13.7%

1.8%

61

TRANSOCEAN LTD

RIG

-1.7%

-12.3%

61

LINCOLN NATIONAL CORP

LNC

9.2%

0.9%

60

Leon Cooperman’s top 30 stock picks returned 13.9% since the end of 2010, vs. 8.5% return for the SPY. These stocks also gained 2.9% since the end of March, vs. 2.5% gain for the SPY. Leon Cooperman demonstrates strong stock picking skills. His top 10 holdings performed even better. An equal-weighted portfolio of his top 10 holdings would have returned 17.6% since the end of December, and 3.1% since the end of March. All of these 10 stocks were in his portfolio at the end of December as well (See Cooperman's previous top holdings here).

Cooperman’s top stock pick is also popular among hedge funds. Jonathan Jacobson’s Highfields Capital had more than $600 Million in SLM at the end of December. David Abrams, Jim Simons, and Israel Englander were among the other hedge fund managers with SLM holdings. His fourth largest position, KFN, is held by Wayne Cooperman, Bill Miller, and Chuck Royce. Wayne Cooperman is Leon’s son and has been a successful hedge fund manager for the past 17 years.

One of Cooperman’s worst performing stock pick was General Motors. He bought it during the fourth quarter of ,2010 along with several other hedge fund managers. Bill Ackman, Barry Rosenstein, Douglas Hirsch, Richard Perry, Roberto Mignone, John Griffin and David Tepper lost 14% of their investments since the end of 2010. Overall, we think investors will be able to outperform the market by imitating Cooperman’s largest holdings.

Source: Billionaire Leon Cooperman's Favorite Stock Picks