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George Soros is a Hungarian-American hedge fund manager who became known as "the Man Who Broke the Bank of England" after he made $1 billion in 1992. Soros graduated from the London School of Economics in 1952. After graduation, he started his career in the London merchant bank of Singer & Friedlander. In 1956, he moved to New York City and his career took off. He earned large profits from investments and currency speculation. According to Forbes, he is ranked 35th on the list of the world’s richest people, with an estimated net worth of $14.2 billion.

Soros returned an average of 30.5% per year between 1969 and 2000. In 2007, Soros came back from retirement after the quant liquidity crunch and managed to generate a 32% return for the year. Soros even managed to return 8% in 2008, the worst year for most hedge funds. Soros also returned 29% in 2009, earning $3.3 billion in fees and investment gains.

According to 13F filings, Soros Fund Management had 744 securities worth $8.4 billion in its 13F portfolio as of March 31, 2011. During the first quarter of 2011, Soros placed new bets on Adecoagro SA (NYSE:AGRO) by buying 27 million shares. He also purchased 4.5 million shares of Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE:MSI) and 2.1 million shares of Visteon Corp (NYSE:VC) during the first quarter of 2011.

George Soros also increased some of his holdings significantly. He increased his put options on SPDR S&P 500 ETF TR (NYSEARCA:SPY) by 338%. He bet big on Citigroup (NYSE:C) by increasing his holdings to $130 million at the end of March. He also increased his Wells Wargo (NYSE:WFC) position to $111 million by buying 2.9 million shares during the first quarter of 2011.

He sold most of his holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) and iShares MSCI Emerg Mkt (NYSEARCA:EEM) funds during the first quarter of 2011. On the other hand legendary investor John Paulson kept his GLD shares constant during the first quarter of 2011.

Here is how Soros’ top picks performed since the end of March 2011 (Our list is not including bonds and put options):

Stock

Value (Millions)

Performance
Since Mar 31,2011

ADECOAGRO S A (AGRO)

366.1

-14.99%

INTEROIL CORP (NYSE:IOC)

302.1

-23.95%

MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS INC (MSI)

200.2

5.35%

MONSANTO CO NEW (NYSE:MON)

192.1

-8.85%

DENDREON CORP (NASDAQ:DNDN)

174.9

2.64%

VISTEON CORP (VC)

133.4

-3.26%

CITIGROUP INC (C)

129.9

-6.70%

WESTPORT INNOVATIONS INC (NASDAQ:WPRT)

121.9

3.69%

EMDEON INC (NYSE:EM)

115.2

-6.95%

WELLS FARGO & CO NEW (WFC)

111.1

-8.42%

TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL INDS (NYSE:TEVA)

107.1

-0.78%

CVS CAREMARK CORPORATION (NYSE:CVS)

100.4

12.72%

DANAHER CORP DEL (NYSE:DHR)

97.1

5.76%

APPLE INC (NASDAQ:AAPL)

80.3

-2.48%

WEATHERFORD INTL (NYSE:WFT)

79.1

-14.12%

COMCAST CORP NEW (NASDAQ:CMCSA)

79.0

3.09%

LAWSON SOFTWARE INC NEW (NASDAQ:LWSN)

75.8

-8.26%

EXPRESS SCRIPTS INC (NASDAQ:ESRX)

73.3

8.15%

GOOGLE INC (NASDAQ:GOOG)

68.2

-9.71%

VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC (NYSE:VZ)

65.0

-2.52%

POLO RALPH LAUREN CORP (NYSE:RL)

61.4

8.38%

GILEAD SCIENCES INC (NASDAQ:GILD)

58.4

-5.02%

AMAZON COM INC (NASDAQ:AMZN)

52.9

9.42%

ACACIA RESH CORP (NASDAQ:ACTG)

51.1

13.51%

NII HLDGS INC (NASDAQ:NIHD)

50.6

1.10%

URS CORP NEW (NYSE:URS)

50.4

-4.78%

AT&T INC (NYSE:T)

48.9

3.38%

COACH INC (NYSE:COH)

45.6

14.93%

MICROSTRATEGY INC (NASDAQ:MSTR)

45.5

-2.22%

NOVAGOLD RES INC (NYSEMKT:NG)

45.4

-20.38%

Value Weighted Performance

3182.3

-4.59%

SPY

N/A

1.33%

Soros' new stock picks have lost 4.6% since the end of first quarter 2011, vs. a 1.3% gain for the SPY. AGRO was Soros' biggest investment at the end of March 2011. AGRO has lost 15% since then, underperforming the SPY’s 1.3% return. Soros has $366 million invested in AGRO.

IOC was Soros' second biggest investment at the end of March 2011. IOC has lost 24% since then, underperforming the SPY’s 1.3% return. Soros has $302 million invested in IOC. The stock has a market cap of $2.75. Robert Pitts’ Steadfast Capital, Charles Clough’s Clough Capital and Peter Adam Hochfelder’s Brahman Capital are also bullish about IOC.

MSI was Soros's biggest new investment at the end of March 2011. MSI has gained 5.4% since March, outperforming the SPY by 4.1 percentage points. Soros had nearly $200 million invested at the end of March. MSI recently traded at $46.82. The stock has a market cap of $15.9 billion and P/E ratio of 15.

Monsanto has lost 8.8% since March, underperforming the SPY by 10.1 percentage points. Soros had nearly $192 million invested at the end of March. MON recently traded at $66.79 and has a 1.8% dividend yield. The stock has a market cap of $35.8 billion and P/E ratio of 28.8. Passport Capital’s John Burbank also had $45 million invested on MON shares at the end of December. Richard Chilton’s Chilton Investment Company, Amos Meron’s Empyrean Capital and Bill Miller’s Legg Mason had large investments in MON as well.

Citigroup has lost 6.7% since March, underperforming the SPY by 8 percentage points. Soros had nearly $130 million invested at the end of March. C recently traded at $41.29 and has a 0.1% dividend yield. The stock has a market cap of $120.6 billion and P/E ratio of 13.5. Citigroup is one of the favor stocks that hedge funds and analysts love.

COH has had one of the best performances in his portfolio since the end of March. Soros had $45.6 million in COH shares at the end of March. COH has gained 14.9% in the seven weeks, beating the SPY by a large margin.

Disclosure: I am long T, C, SPY.

Source: George Soros's Favorite Stock Picks