Paul Tudor Jones is the founder of Tudor Investment Corporation, a management company for his private investment partnerships. Jones started his career by trading cotton on Wall Street. In 1980, he launched Tudor Investment Corp. Jones successfully predicted the Black Monday in 1987. He tripled his capital during this event due to large short positions. As of September 2011, the fund manages approximately $11 billion worth of assets. Jones was also ranked the 107th richest American and the 336th richest person in the world, according to Forbes.
Recently, Tudor Investment released the latest 13F holdings. Let's take a closer look at its most bullish bets and decide whether it still makes sense for investors to imitate these stock picks.
Century Link Inc (CTL): CTL is the largest non-ETF position in Tudor's latest 13F portfolio. The biggest position is iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund Call (FXI). As of December 31, 2011, Tudor had $30.3 million invested in CTL. A few other hedge funds were also bullish about CTL. At the end of the third quarter, there were 21 hedge funds with CTL positions in their 13F portfolios. For instance, Louis Bacon's Moore Global Investment reported owning $2.8 million worth of CTL shares at end of last year.
We are not very bullish about CTL, though. The company increased its size over a short period of time. It is adjusting its business under a poor economic environment. It also has a high leverage. Its total debt-to-equity ratio is 1.05 and its long-term debt-to-equity ratio is 1.03. CTL also looks a bit overvalued compared to its peers. It has a forward P/E ratio of 15.70 and its EPS is expected to grow at 4.10% on the average per year over the next five years. This means that CTL's P/E ratio for 2014 is 14.5, compared with 10.9 for AT&T Inc (T) and 11.4 for Verizon Communications Inc (VZ).
CTL has an attractive dividend yield though. It has a dividend yield of 7.39%. However, we think the price premium that investors have to pay is excessive. T and VZ also have high dividend yields of over 5%. Additionally, they have a record of continuously increasing their dividend payouts. T has been increasing its dividends for 28 consecutive years, and VZ has been raising its payouts for 7 consecutive years.
Devon Energy Corp (DVN): Another large position in Tudor's portfolio is DVN. Over the fourth quarter, Tudor significantly boosted its DVN stakes by more than 100%. At the end of last year, the fund had $20 million invested in DVN. DVN is also quite popular among hedge funds. At the end of September, there were 33 hedge funds reported to own DVN in their 13F portfolios. For example, Ric Dillon was the most bullish hedge fund manager about DVN. Dillon's Diamond Hill Capital had nearly $200 million invested in DVN at the end of third quarter. David Dreman, Israel Englander, and T. Boone Pickens were also bullish about this stock.
We agree with these hedge fund managers. DVN has sold about $10 billion in assets, including deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, and Azerbaijan. The after-tax proceeds was about $8 billion, which was used to fund onshore drilling and acquisitions, reduce debt, and repurchase outstanding shares. The company has strong revenue growth, reasonable debt levels, and healthy cash flows. It also has attractive valuation levels. DVN has a low forward P/E ratio of 10.28 and it is expected to grow at an average of 8.48% per year in the next five years. So its P/E ratio for 2014 is 8.7, versus 10.7 for Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) and 8 for EOG Resource Inc (EOG).
Though EOG's 2014 P/E ratio is lower than that of EVN, its current P/E ratio and forward P/E ratio are higher. EOG has a forward P/E ratio of 17.43. However, it is estimated to grow at nearly 50% per year in the next five years. That's why its 2014 P/E ratio is low. But we still prefer DVN to EOG. It is very hard for EOG to beat the extremely high expected growth rate, while it is relatively easy for DVN to beat its relatively low expectation. Contrarian investors should pick DVN over EOG.
A few other large positions in Tudor's portfolio include Liberty Interactive Corp (LINTA), Google Inc (GOOG), and Apple Inc (AAPL). We like his bets on the two tech giants, GOOG and AAPL. Both of them are trading at attractive multiples and we see great potential in them. GOOG was down 3.30% over the past 52 weeks, but we expect the stock to rebound and outperform the market in the next 12 months. AAPL returned 40% during the past year, beating the market by more than 36 percentage points. We think it is not late to buy AAPL and we believe it will continue to be a winner.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.