Soros Fund Management LLC is well-regarded as one of the most successful and high-profile hedge funds, largely due to its long record of performance. George Soros, the fund's high profile and politically influential founder, is considered one of the best living currency and equity investors, with a net worth estimated at over $14 billion.
Funds like Soros Fund Management are required to provide quarterly filings that state what positions the fund was holding at the end of the prior quarter. By looking at these filings, we are able to ascertain what investments, if any, acclaimed investors may have initiated in the recent past, as well as what investments they might have dropped.
Below is part 1 of a list of investments in which Soros Fund either reduced its exposure or wholly liquidated the position, according to the fund's most recently filed 13F. This filing does not include all investments and sales made by the fund, as the 13F only includes positions in U.S. equities, and not bonds, foreign market equities (unless an ADR), commodities or currencies. The positions are listed alphabetically. I have only included individual equities. The fund did also both acquire and reduce some positions in various Exchange Traded Funds.
Soros Fund Management's 13F for the four quarter of 2011 listed 259,900 shares of Google, the well-known technology company with business including Internet Search, Android smartphone OS and YouTube, among others. Google has shown up multiple times in the Soros Fund Management filings, indicating that it could be more of a liquid trading vehicle for the fund than a true long-term investment. Additionally, this position may have been liquidated as part of a broader merger arbitrage technique being used by the fund, given GOOG's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which completed during the second quarter of this year.
YPF Sociedad Anonima (YPF)
YPF is an oil & gas refiner and marketer that operates out of Argentina. Soros Fund Management had acquired a sizable position in the energy company during 2011, which peaked at 860,255 shares at the end of 2012. YPF performed well during the start of 2012, but quickly began to taper off.
The company later spiked down considerably after Argentina announced the nationalization of the energy company. Soros Fund Management may have seen this nationalization coming, as the fund opted to eliminate its position one quarter in advance of the move. However so, the decision to sell before the start of the second quarter was rather opportune, whether or not it actually generated a profit, given the subsequent activity.
Soros Fund Management's most recent 13F indicates that it owned 40,000 shares of Apple as of the end of the first quarter of 2012. The fund's prior 13F listed 95,000 shares of the technology giant, meaning that it almost nearly sixty percent
Soros Fund Management also reduced its position in DVA, a specialized health services company that provides kidney dialysis services. The fund held 300,000 shares of DaVita at the end of 2011, which it reduced to 175,000 at the end of Q1 2012. DaVita spend most of the first quarter of 2012 appreciating from the mid $70s to a high of about $90. More recently, shares have declined from the high $80s to the low $80s within May.
Soros Fund Management reduced its position in IOC, an Australian oil & gas refiner and marketer with assets in Papua New Guinea, from of 4,509,622 shares at the end of 2011 to 1,570,858 shares at the end of Q1 2012. This is a reduction of about two-thirds. Despite the recent trend down for oil & gas commodity prices, as well as most energy companies, IOC is actually up 26.36 percent so far in 2012 and 8.42 percent over the last month.
Medco Health (MHS)
As MHS no longer exists, there is no performance chart for MHS, above, and I instead provided the chart for Express Scripts (ESRX), which acquired it.
Soros Fund Management held a small stake in Medco Health, which it reduced from 726,623 shares at the end of 2011 to 189,100 at the end of Q1 2012. Medco was in the process of being acquired by Express Scripts. This may indicate a merger arbitrage position by the fund. The Soros fund held 960,000 shares of ESRX at the end of the first quarter.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative and should not be construed as personalized advice as it does not take into account your specific situation or objectives.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.