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This article is part of a series that provide an ongoing analysis of the changes made to George Soros's US stock portfolio on a quarterly basis. Soros Fund Management invests globally and the long positions in the US market reported in the 13F filings represent only ~20% of the overall portfolio. The US investments are diversified with a large number of very small positions and a small number of very large positions. As the small positions (<0.5%) are not an indication of a clear bias, the focus of the article is on the larger US long-portfolio positions.

New stakes:

CVR Energy Inc (NYSE:CVI): CVI, a significant 1.5% stake, was purchased this quarter in the $18 to $30 price range. Carl Icahn agreed to buy the company at $30 per share and the majority of the shareholders accepted the deal as of early May. On a related note, investor John Paulson had positive remarks on CVI - he thinks Carl Icahn may be able to resell the company at ~$36 per share.

Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX): CVS, a ~1.1% stake, was initiated this quarter in the $102 to $111 price-range. CVX currently trades at ~$98. The significant new stake signals a bullish bias.

Macys Inc (NYSE:M): M, a ~0.9% stake, was initiated this quarter in the $32 to $41 price range. Macy's currently trades at around $35. The significant new stake indicates a bullish bias.

SPDR Consumer Staples (NYSEARCA:XLP): XLP, a 0.5% position, was established this quarter when the price-per-share varied between $32 and $34. XLP currently trades at $33.50. The stake is too small to show any clear bias.

Suntrust Banks (NYSE:STI): STI, a 1.1% position, was introduced this quarter when the price-per-share varied between $17.70 and $25. STI currently trades at ~ $21.75. The noteworthy new stake indicates a bullish bias.

Tesoro Corp (NYSE:TSO): TSO, a 0.5% position, was picked up this quarter when the price-per-share varied between $22 and $30. TSO currently trades at the low end of that range. The stake is too slight to show any clear bias.

Powershares QQQ Trust (NASDAQ:QQQ) & SPDR Healthcare (NYSEARCA:XLV) PUTS: QQQ Puts, a large 4.3% position, was established this quarter when the price-per-share varied between $55.83 and $68.21. QQQ currently trades at ~$61. XLV Puts, a 1% position, was established this quarter when the price-per-share varied between $34.69 and $37.5. XLV currently trades at ~$36.

Stake Disposals:

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG): GOOG, a large ~3.5% stake, was eliminated this quarter when the price-per-share varied between $568 and $655. It currently trades at $600. GOOG had figured many times in the portfolio since 2008. The bulk of the most recent stake was established in Q4 2011 when the price-per-share varied between $495 and $646. The stake disposal points to a bearish bias.

YPF Sociedad Anonima (NYSE:YPF): YPF, 0.65% stake built up during 2011 when the price-per-share varied between $31 and $46.31, plunged sharply following the YPF nationalization announcement by the Argentine government. It currently trades well outside his purchase range at ~$12.50. Soros made his exit when YPF traded between $26 and $41 before the crippling price movement in mid-April following the announcement.

Stake Increases:

Comverse Technology (NASDAQ:CMVT): CMVT, a 1.6% position, was increased by 10% during the quarter when the price-per-share varied between $6.03 and $6.91. It currently trades at around $6.20. The original stake was established in Q4 2011 when the price-per-share varied between $6.34 and $7. Soros is building a strong technology company bias into his portfolio and CMVT is an example of that trend - the small-cap software company ($1.33B market cap) is focused in billing and customer management of wireless, wire line, and cable services. For investors attempting to follow Soros, CMVT is a good option to consider.

Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX): ESRX, a ~0.75% stake, was increased by around a third during the quarter when the price-per-share varied between $44.67 and $54.95. It was enhanced by a whopping 3.5 times in Q4 2011 when the price-per-share varied between $35.71 and $48.32. Protective puts placed for around 40% of the position as of Q4 2011 has also since been removed. ESRX currently trades at around $50. The significant stake enhancement along with the removal of the puts indicates a clear bullish bias.

Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH): DISH, a 1% stake, was roughly doubled this quarter when the price-per-share varied between $27.64 and $33. It started out as a very small position in 2009 and was enhanced significantly to a 1% stake in Q1 2011 when the share-price ranged between $19.66 and $24.40. The stock currently trades at $28.48 which is at the low-end of the price-range Soros could have acquired the stake increase. Soros is definitely very bullish on DISH and for investors attempting to follow Soros DISH is a good stock to consider.

Extreme Networks (NASDAQ:EXTR): EXTR, a 0.5% stake established between Q2 2009 and Q4 2009 from a very low base when the share price varied between $1.61 and $3, was marginally increased this quarter when the price-per-share varied between $2.91 and $3.96. Currently it trades at $3.43. The minor stake increase does not represent a clear bias as the overall stake is still very small.

S&P 500 SPDR (NYSEARCA:SPY) PUTS: The SPY puts are a huge 7.5% stake that was increased by around 150% this quarter. The original stake was built during Q1 and Q2 2011. It was trimmed down to a ~3% stake as of Q4 2011. The large stake increase indicates that Soros has become bearish on the S&P 500, as that index and overall market rallied ~10%.

Stake Decreases:

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL): AAPL, a ~0.4% stake that had been in the portfolio since 2005, was reduced by 58% during the quarter. It was actively traded and in the last two years, the long position has varied between a low of 40K shares this quarter and a high of 305K shares in Q4 2010. The sizeable stake reduction reveals a bearish bias.

Medco Health (NYSE:MHS): MHS, a minute 0.2% stake, was reduced by around two-thirds during the quarter when the price-per-share varied between $55.90 and $67.64. The bulk of the original stake was established in Q4 2011 when the price-per-share varied between $45.64 and $58.11. The stock currently trades at around $70. The stake reduction signifies a mild bearish bias.

Mercury Computer (NASDAQ:MRCY): MRCY, a ~0.4% stake, was reduced by ~17% this quarter. It was built-up over the last four years and accounted for 0.67% of the US long portfolio in Q4 2011. MRCY traded between $13.29 and $15 during the quarter and is currently trading at around $11.80. The stake reduction shows a mild bearish bias.

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC): WFC, a ~0.2% stake, was reduced by over 60% this quarter when the price-per-share varied between $27.56 and $34.57. WFC stake was built to a sizeable ~2.5% of the US long portfolio stake in Q1 2011 when the price-per-share varied between $30.99 and $33.76. Around 80% of that was liquidated in Q2 2011 when the price-per-share varied between $25.36 and $32.40. WFC is currently trading at around $31. The major stake reduction indicates a bearish bias.

Westport Innovations (NASDAQ:WPRT): WPRT, a 1.8% stake aggressively built from Q2 2010 to Q1 2011 when the share price ranged between $15.15 and $20.25, was reduced by ~10% during the quarter. It currently trades at around $24, well outside the range Soros could have purchased the bulk of the stake at. The minor stake reduction suggests a mild bearish bias.

DaVita Inc (NYSE:DVA): DVA, a petite ~0.2% stake, was reduced by over 40% during the quarter. The bulk of the stake was established in Q1 2011 but was reduced by ~38% in Q4 2011. The significant stake reduction denotes a bearish bias.

Interoil Corp (NYSE:IOC): IOC, a 1.2% stake, was reduced by ~65%. The original stake was built between Q2 2009 and Q4 2010 and was trimmed by ~10% in Q4 2011. IOC traded in the $51.41 to $74.73 price range during the quarter and it currently trades around $55. The major stake reduction definitely points towards a bearish bias.

Medicines (NASDAQ:MDCO): MDCO, a minute stake established in Q3 2011 when the price-per-share varied between $12.52 and $17, was reduced by 80% during the quarter. During the quarter, the price-per-share varied between $18.29 and $22.28. It currently trades at around $21. The stake disposal implies a bearish bias.

Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE:MSI): MSI, a 3.3% stake the bulk of which was acquired in Q1 2011 when the price-per-share varied between $37.15 and $44.40, was trimmed by ~25% this quarter when the price-per-share varied between $40.94 and $51.75. MSI currently trades at around $47. The position was trimmed by roughly the same percentage amount last quarter when the price-per-share varied between $40.62 and $47.41. The consistent stake disposal over two quarters indicates a bearish bias.

iShares Russell 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM) PUTS: This huge ~10% stake purchased in Q2 2011 was enhanced by ~20% in Q3 2011. The position was trimmed down to just ~1% of the US long portfolio in Q4 2011 and further reduced to just 0.5% this quarter. The share price varied between $60.97 and $84.41 during the last two quarters and currently trades at around $74.50. It is clear that Soros has become less bearish on IWM since Q4 2011.

Adecoagro (NYSE:AGRO), a pre-IPO investment was left untouched this quarter after a slight trimming in Q4 2011. It is a fairly large ~4% stake. The current share price is at $8.77 which is well below the IPO price of $11. EXAR Corp (NYSE:EXAR) is a ~1% position that remained untouched during the quarter. The position was established in 2009 and was doubled in 2010 when the share price ranged in the $5 to $8 range. The stock trades now around $7.90. The rest of the positions are very small and as such does not signify a clear bias. The spreadsheet below shows 31 out of around 200 long positions that have an allocation greater than 0.5% of Soros's US long portfolio as of Q1 2012:

(click to enlarge)

Please visit our Tracking Soros Fund Management Holdings article for an idea on how his holdings have progressed over the years and our previous update highlighting the fund's moves during Q4 2011.

Source: Tracking George Soros's Portfolio - Q1 2012 Update