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Steve Cohen Founded his SAC Capital fund in 1992. Since then, he has used a diversified approach that combines fundamental and quantitative analysis to grow SAC to a portfolio value over $17.4 billion. Along the way, Cohen has developed his own net worth, estimated to be around $8 billion. In other words, he knows his stuff.

During the second quarter, Cohen sold out of 8 positions and it seems like he made the right call. Had Cohen kept these 8 positions, he would have lost 12% since June, which is several percentage points below current market performance. The sharp decline in price could make these positions strong short options.

Company

Ticker

Position

Return Since June

LABORATORY CORP AMERICA HLDGS

LH

143718

-18%

COVIDIEN PLC

COV

62920

-15%

UNITED STATES OIL FUND L P

USO

57243

-11%

CONSTELLATION ENERGY GROUP INC

CEG

52926

-0%

BIG LOTS INC

BIG

45790

6%

JACOBS ENGINEERING GROUP INC

JEC

31943

-15%

CLEAN ENERGY FUELS CORP

CLNE

15154

-16%

Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE:LH) is the largest of these short positions. Since the end of June, this company lost roughly 18% of its value. It is currently trading at $80.21, which is near its 52-week low of $74.57. Analysts expect LH to rise no higher than $98.28 within the next 12 months, although some analysts are predicting as low as $82 a share. The average analyst recommendation is to hold the stock. In other words, it is too low to sell and not promising enough to buy. Cohen sold out a position worth $143.7 million in LH in the second quarter, as did several other fund managers, including Glenview Capital’s Larry Robbins, who sold out a $95.9 million position (see more of Larry Robbins’ top picks).

Covidien Plc (NYSE:COV) would have cost Cohen 15% since June had he kept the stock. COV recently traded at $46.01, down from a 52-week high of $57.65. Analyst estimates put the stock at $60.60 within the next 12 months. Analysts are recommending buy on this stock, giving it a 1.7 on a recommendation scale of 1.0 to 5.0, where 1.0 means strong buy and 5.0 means sell. Roberto Mignone, Bridger Management is on the same page. He also sold out of COV during the second quarter. Bridger’s position had been worth $50.5 million. It was also a new position. He had just purchased in the first quarter.

United States Oil Fund L P (NYSEARCA:USO) was also a sell for Cohen in the second quarter when he sold a $57.2 million call position in the company. It was good timing. USO has lost 11% since the end of June and more than 21% YTD. It is trading at $33.87 down from a 52-week high of $45.60 a share. Mignone also sold his call position in USO last quarter as did Phillippe Jabre, Jabre Capital Partners (see more on Phillippe Jabre’s top picks).

Constellation Energy Group Inc (NYSE:CEG) was a $52.9 million position before he sold it in the second quarter. Glenn Russell Dubin also sold his Highbridge Capital Management’s position in the company. It was worth $15.6 million (read about Glenn Russell Dubin’s strategic bets). CEG has broken even since the end of June. It recently traded at $38.57, near the top of its 52-week range of $40.22. The stock is estimated to rise to $42.33 a share in the next 12 months.

Big Lots Inc (NYSE:BIG) has returned 6% since the end of June, pushing the stock to 13.49% YTD. In spite of its high returns, it is trading at $34.57, which is quite a bit lower than its 52-week high of $44.44. Cohen sold out a $45.8 million position in the company during the second quarter. In the same quarter, James Dinan’s York Capital Management sold a position worth over $201.5 million in BIG.

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (NYSE:JEC) lost 15% since the end of June. It is currently trading at $37.81 down from a high of $55.73 earlier this year. Steve Cohen sold out of his $31.9 million position during the second quarter. Robert Pohly’s Samlyn Capital also divested its position in JEC in the same quarter. Samyln Capital had owned a $21.1 million position in the company prior to the sale.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ:CLNE) lost 16% since the end of the second quarter. It is currently trading at $11.77 down from a 52-week high of $17.85. Its one year target estimate is only set at $15.80. Cohen had $15 million in the company before selling out completely in the second quarter. Louis Bacon, Moore Global Investments, sold his position in CLNE as well that quarter.

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

Source: 7 Short Ideas From Billionaire Steve Cohen