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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.

During the first quarter, Cooperman completely sold his holdings in 33 stocks. Unfortunately these stocks performed better than his remaining holdings and the S&P 500 index. Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) increased 23%, Liberty Media (LCAPA) and Lorillard (NYSE:LO) increased 16%, and Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) gained 33%. Overall these stocks gained 2%. Leon Cooperman had 37 stock picks that are constituents of the S&P 500 index. These stocks gained 0.1% during the second quarter, same as the index itself. We are interested in Cooperman’s new positions and the positions he increased significantly. Here is how these fresh stock picks performed in the second quarter:

CompanyName

Ticker

Value

Activity

Return

DISCOVERY COMM

DISCK

94775

New

4%

ATLAS ENERGY INC

ATLS

85244

New

-2%

VERIZON

VZ

77805

New

-2%

C V S CAREMARK

CVS

73033

New

10%

SUNOCO INC

SUN

64970

New

-8%

GIVEN IMAGING

GIVN

57761

New

3%

CITRIX SYSTEMS

CTXS

56807

New

9%

GENON ENERGY

GEN

56424

159%

1%

JABIL CIRCUIT INC

JBL

56366

169%

-1%

METLIFE INC

MET

47239

428%

-2%

BANK OF AMERICA

BAC

33818

New

-18%

LOWES COMPANIES

LOW

30545

New

-11%

AON CORP

AON

29234

New

-3%

APPLE INC

AAPL

28015

88%

-4%

INTL GAME TECH

IGT

25416

New

9%

QUALCOMM INC

QCOM

20024

New

4%

VALASSIS COMM

VCI

16292

New

4%

GOODYEAR TIRE

GT

15891

New

12%

P N C FINANCIAL

PNC

12522

New

-5%

B P PLC

BP

12478

New

1%

SALESFORCE COM

CRM

9351

New

12%

WENDYS ARBYS

WEN

1938

New

1%

BEBE STORES INC

BEBE

651

New

5%

OFFICE DEPOT INC

ODP

618

New

-9%

GOOGLE INC

GOOG

352

New

-14%

These stocks performed slightly better than the S&P 500 index, gaining 0.3% in the second quarter. Cooperman’s largest new stock pick was Discovery Communications, which gained 4%. Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global had the largest position in DISCK at the end of first quarter. Coleman was one of the most successful hedge fund managers in 2010 and returned more than 15% so far in 2011 (Check out Coleman’s favorite stock picks).

Cooperman’s other profitable new stock picks were Salesforce.com, Goodyear, CVS Caremark, and Citrix. David Tepper has more than $200 Million in GT. John Griffin and Stephen Mandel are bullish about CTXS. However the most popular stock among hedge funds is CVS. Highfields Capital and Relational Investors have around $700 Million in CVS each. Larry Robbins have more than $300 Million in CVS as well. Israel Englander, David Einhorn, and George Soros have around $100 Million in CVS too (See George Soros’ favorite stock picks here).

We like Cooperman’s stock picks and believe investors can beat index funds by imitating Cooperman’s favorite stock picks. We also agree with Cooperman that stocks will outperform bonds in the next few years. Investors can check out Cooperman’s entire portfolio here.

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

Source: Leon Cooperman's New Stock Picks