George Soros is legendary. Often called the “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England,” Soros has become one of the world’s richest men after a career spanning several decades in which he profited off any opportunity he saw, including several unpopular ones – like when he bet against British Sterling in the early 1990s in the bet that earned him a $1 billion and his moniker. Soros announced that he stopped managing money for outsiders. This means that we won’t be able to see his holdings starting in 2012. For now we have access though. As of September 30, Soros had roughly $5.8 billion under his management. His portfolio at Soros Fund Management spanned 468 positions as of the end of the third quarter.
George Soros’ Top Holdings
At the end of the third quarter, Motorola Solutions (MSI) was his top holding after he increased his shares by 16.5%. As of September 30, Soros owned 6,596,337 shares in the company, in a position that took up 4.7% of his portfolio. MSI had been Soros’ fourth largest position at the end of the second quarter. Adecoagro SA (AGRO), which had been Soros’ third largest position at the end of the second quarter, was his next largest, occupying 3.8% of his portfolio after Soros increased his stake in the company by 3.64% in the third quarter to 25,485,394 shares. Soros’ third largest position at the end of the third quarter was InterOil (IOC). He had 4,394,622 shares in the company after adding to his shares by 10.71% in the third quarter. IOC comprised 3.7% of his portfolio as of September 30. Emdeon (EM) occupied the fourth largest position in the Soros portfolio at the end of September, taking up 1.6% of the total portfolio value. Soros had 5,108,050 shares in the company after reducing his stake by 26.12%. Westport Innovations (WPRT) was Soros’ fifth largest holding, coming in just under the size of his EM stake. Soros had 3,160,063 shares in the company at the end of the third quarter after cutting his total shares by 37.05%.
George Soros’ New Positions
In the third quarter 2011, George Soros initiated several new positions. He bought 1,700,000 shares in Medicines Company (MDCO) for between and estimated $12.52 to $17 a share, for an average of $14.95. As of November 17, the stock is trading at $18.49 a share. Soros also initiated a new position in Biogen Idec Inc (BIIB), buying 201,000 shares at an estimated average price of $97.45. The stock most recently traded at $109.63 a share. Soros opened a new position in Sandisk (SNDK) as well. He bought 539,600 shares in the company during the third quarter, at an average price of $40.09. SNDK recently traded at $49.52 a share. George Soros also opened new positions in Sara Lee (SLE), Banco Bradesco (BBD), American Electric Power (AEP), Sanofi Aventis (SNY), Successfactors (SFSF), Ishares Trust Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond- Etf (TLT) and SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT).
Stocks George Soros is Bearish On
Soros also sold out or cut several positions during the third quarter. He sold out of: RF Micro Devices Inc. (RFMD), Stanley Works (SWK), Western Digital Corp. (WDC), Itau Unibanco Holding S.a. Ads (ITUB), Golar Lng Ltd (GLNG) Ishares, Incorporated- Shares Msci Brazil Index Fu (EWZ), Coinstar Inc. (CSTR), Petroleo Brasileiiro Sa Petrobras (PBR), Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (ANR), Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX), Potash Corp. Of Saskatchewan (POT), Greenbrier Cos. (GBX), Target Corp. (TGT), Brigham Exploration Company (BEXP), Fedex Corp. (FDX), Evercore Partners (EVR), Federalmogul Corp. (FDML), and Healthspring (HS). Soros also sold out of his position in Motorola Mobility Holdings (MMI), the company that Google (GOOG) announced in August it would snap up for $12.5 billion in an effort to acquire the company’s patent portfolio (see the story here).
In the third quarter, Soros also reduced several positions. He cut his holdings in Ralph Lauren (RL), Dendreon (DNDN), Time Warner Cable (TWC), Seagate Technology (STX), Westport Innovations Inc (WPRT), AT&T (T), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), Microstrategy Inc. (MSTR), DirecTv (DTV), Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR), Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), International Business Machines Corp (IBM), Sandridge Energy (SD), Cvs Caremark (CVS), Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH), E*trade Financial Corp. (ETFC), and Tivo Inc. (TIVO).
George Soros’ Favorite Bets
In spite of so many sales and cutbacks, Soros’ portfolio did not change in value really. Instead, he filled in the void left by so many sales by adding the new positions mentioned above and increasing his stakes in some of his favorite stocks. Soros added to his positions in Amazon.com (AMZN), Motorola Solutions (MSI), InterOil (IOC), Kraft Foods (KFT), Express Scripts (ESRX), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Webmd Health Corp. (WBMD).
Soros has been very successful this year in terms of timing the market. He was bearish about the market in June and he didn’t change his posture much during the third quarter. We urge investors to stay cautious and focus on the names Soros has been bullish on recently.