Guru Investing: John Paulson's 4 Newest Buys

by: Investment Underground

We took at look at John Paulson's portfolio. It seems he remains bullish on gold, retailers, commodities and offshore oil production. Here's an in-depth look at 4 of his most recent buys. As always, use the list below as a starting point for your own homework.

TransOcean (NYSE:RIG) Transocean, involved in the British Petroleum (NYSE:BP) oil disaster, has a market cap of $25B, and is trading at a 24.8 P/E ratio. RIG is the largest offshore driller in the world, and will certainly benefit from the re-opening of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The firm appears to be past any financial obligations resulting from the BP disaster, and has a fairly strong balance sheet.

With oil prices rising along with instability in the Middle East, we think RIG is in a good position to rise up to pre-BP price levels. Paulson also likes the stock, as it was his biggest position at the end of the most recent reporting period. It accounted for 3.92% of his portfolio at the end of the year. RIG made $9.57 billion in revenues in 2010, which was a decrease of 17.13%, after falling another 8.82% in 2009. The EBT margin shrunk to 13.57% in 2010, but was 33.96% in 2009. EPS fell by 69.61% to $2.99, which implies a P/E of 28.4.

Transocean is the world’s largest offshore drilling company, and we think shares are still undervalued.

Alpha Natural Resources (ANR): This is Paulson's fifth biggest position. During the most recent reporting period, he added shares at the average price of $57 per share. With its acquisition of Foundation Coal, ANR is one of the largest coal miners in North America. ANR is now going after Massey (NYSE:MEE) to round out its mining portfolio. The company extracts, processes and markets metallurgic and steam coal everywhere from Colorado to the Central Appalachian region to the Powder River Basin. Should metallurgic prices remain high into next year, ANR will be in a very solid financial place, providing investors with an opportunity for above average returns.

We also think Cloud Peak Energy (NYSE:CLD), which we've written about recently, represents an interesting buy.

Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ): For the entire FY 2011, the Street expects non-GAAP EPS to be $5.23 (+41.65%) with revenues of $130.6B (+3.60%). The company issued guidance of non-GAAP EPS of $5.20 - $5.28, with revenues between $130.0B and $131.5B. Looking into the near future, for FY 2012, the Street forecasts a non-GAAP EPS of $5.68 (+8.60%) alongside revenues of $136.1B (+4.21%). The company also has a debt to equity ratio of 0.41.

From a pure hardware-focused business model, the company is diversifying to services, storage and networking. This should drive margins higher. In fact, the non-GAAP operating margin in Q1 2011 expanded to 12.4% from 11.2% in Q1 2010. Moreover, the EBT margin in FY 2010 grew to 8.71% from 8.22% in FY 2009. Also, with a growing global economy, demand for IT goods and services provide decent revenue growth opportunity. In Q1 2011, when adjusted for the effects of currency, revenue was +5% in the Americas, +4% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and +2% in Asia Pacific.

HPQ trades below our fair value estimate and the gap between the trailing four quarters' P/E and the forward four quarters' P/E is approximately 1 since 2009. So, a forward P/E multiple of 8.7 is justified, and thus we place a price target of $44.50. At current prices, HPQ is a buy for conservative investors, and it is a better bet than Dell (NASDAQ:DELL).

Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX): Paulson remains a gold bull. He purchased 900,000 shares of Barrick during the recent reporting period. Barrick Gold is in the business of producing, selling, mining, and exploring gold globally. It has 25 operating mines as well as interests in oil and gas production in Canada.

ABX has a trailing P/E ratio of 12.84. The current price is $44.42 down from its 52 week high in late April of $55.74. It has a steady dividend yield of 1.00%. Barrick recently announced that it will acquire Equinox Minerals Limited (OTC:EQNMF), which is a mining and exploration company whose main project is a copper mine in Africa. ABX has also announced the sale of $4B in debt securities. This capital will help finance the Equinox deal and be used for general corporate purposes. ABX is a buy. The company has shown determination to become the biggest, best, and most sustainable gold production company in the world. The increase in gold prices will only edge its production higher.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.