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Maverick Capital is headed by Lee Ainslie, the guru “Tiger Cub” (he cut his proverbial teeth at Tiger Management as Julian Robertson’s right-hand man). Ainslie spent just 3 years with Robertson before launching Maverick Capital with the help of the Wyly brothers in 1993 when he was just 29. The Maverick Capital’s current 13F portfolio is valued at over $9.5 billion and centered primarily on Financial, Technology and Services stocks.

Ainslie has led Maverick Capital by focusing solely on equity positions; no bonds, currencies, options or commodities for this savvy investor. He focuses instead on long/short positions. Historically, Ainslie has had strong performance, consistently outperforming the S&P 500 by 6-7 points on average. However, the picture is a bit different when looking at Ainslie’s more recent returns.

Ainslie’s Maverick Capital has been underperforming the S&P 500 by almost 3 percentage points since 2009 and he has brought in 2.5 points less than the S&P 500 since March 31, 2011. Moreover, in Ainslie’s top 20 picks, the losses have been even greater (approximately 4%).

CompanyName

Ticker

Value

Return

QUALCOMM INC

QCOM

428605

-2%

APPLE INC

AAPL

416127

13%

PFIZER INC

PFE

409271

-9%

MARVELL TECHNOLOGY

MRVL

403046

-8%

CORNING INC

GLW

402984

-25%

APOLLO GROUP INC

APOL

307662

20%

BLACKROCK INC

BLK

282134

-13%

GOOGLE INC

GOOG

280776

2%

GOODRICH CORP

GR

280037

9%

PROGRESSIVE CORP OH

PGR

277937

-9%

DIRECTV

DTV

277514

6%

MCKESSON H B O C INC

MCK

276399

-1%

JPMORGAN CHASE & CO

JPM

275723

-12%

WELLS FARGO & CO NEW

WFC

271012

-13%

AMDOCS LTD

DOX

255077

5%

DOLLAR GENERAL CORP NEW

DG

208657

-1%

URBAN OUTFITTERS INC

URBN

208487

5%

YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HLDG

YGE

189086

-47%

LONGTOP FINANCIAL

LFT

176824

-40%*

COMCAST CORP NEW

CMCSK

170133

-4%

Ainslie’s performance may not be inspiring but a fair share of that is due to the 40% loss (the losses are actually larger) Maverick Capital sustained as a result of the Longtop Financial scam. Longtop Financial was launched as an IPO in 2007, underwritten by both Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. However, it came to light that there were a high degree of falsities in Longtop’s financial records, an issue that has spurred an investigation by the SEC and the resignation of Chief Financial Officer Derek Palaschuk (Read the details). Unfortunately, Ainslie increased Maverick Capital’s position by 44% in the company during the first quarter before the problems surfaced.

Maverick Capital also incurred major losses via its position in Yingli Green Energy Holding; since March 31, 2011, he has lost 47% on that position. Hopes are high for Yingli’s future, Collins Stewart and Wells Fargo are both maintaining bullish positions on the solar energy company.

Ainslie’s largest position is in Qualcomm Inc. and Apple, positions equally favored by $3.8 billion Coatue Management’s Phillippe Laffont (Check out Laffont’s top stock picks). Qualcomm may be producing a negative return since March 31, 2011 but Ainslie’s position in Apple is producing strong returns (13%).

Maverick Capital also has large returns via its position in Apollo Group Inc, an educational services provider. Since March 31, 2011, the return has been a solid 20%. However, Ainslie opted to sell off 20% of his position with the company.

We like Ainslie for his past performance; after all, until 2009, he was producing consistently high returns. However, while Ainslie may be one of the famed “Tiger Cubs,” his performance over the last two years should serve as a cautionary tale. Investors can still benefit from his high conviction stock picks.

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

Source: Lee Ainslie's Stock Picks and Recent Performance