George Soros' Best-Performing Stocks

 |  Includes: AAPL, CHTR, M, VVUS, XLP
by: Value and Arb

As one of the world's leading investment gurus, George Soros, could teach you a thing or two about investing. You probably won't get him on the phone, but looking at the changes in his portfolio, you can learn how Soros likes to invest. This year hasn't been too bad for Soros either. Even in our shaky financial times, he has definitely had some wins when it comes to key investments in his portfolio this year. We looked at some of Soros' investments that are performing the best within his portfolio at the moment, and outlined their last year below.

One of his best investments has been Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the maker of everything popular these days. He and basically every other hedge fund manger seemed to profit huge off Apple stock. Over the past 12 months, Apple has increased about 66%. Not bad, even for Soros.

Soros also made a sizable investment in a stock that has risen over 200% in the past year. This stock is VIVUS (NASDAQ:VVUS). The main reason for the giant spike in this pharmaceutical's stock is was the approval over their drug Qnexa. Qnexa treats obesity in adults, a problem rapidly growing worldwide. VIVUS was also approved to start making a Viagra-like drug.

Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR) is one of the best performers at the moment, and no doubt they are enjoying their time in the sun. Charter is a cable television provider, also dabbling in Internet and telephone services to their client base in the US. Based out of Missouri, Charter Communications service around 25 US states and are believed to have almost 5 million clients across the country. Not without their own shaky past, Charter have faced financial pressures over the past decade and in 2009 actually filed for bankruptcy. However, Charter kept up the good fight and later in the same year, they were able to emerge from bankruptcy and continue business.

Soros was happy to invest 1% of his total portfolio with Charter in good faith - and it's a good thing he did. Charter Communications have certainly turned their position around and have experienced a good year since July 2011. Sitting pretty in green at +27%ish for the past year, Charter has seen quite steady growth for the entire year. But some haven't been as forgiving. Charter Communications was recently voted the third most disliked company in the United States by American consumers - the ones who pay the bills, not gain them.

Another favored investment of Soros is Macy's Inc. (NYSE:M). The large retail department store chain, born and based out of Ohio in the United States, specializes in clothing, accessories, cosmetics and home wares, and operates over 800 stores across the US. Also owner of the famous Bloomingdale's department stores, Macy's is said to be in the top 40 largest retailers worldwide. Soros must like fashion (or the profits from it), as he was happy to invest 0.8% of his entire portfolio with Macy's.

Plus, Macy's is investing for tomorrow by spending over $400 million on renovations. Their famous Herald Square store is already a massive 1.2 million square feet, but Macy's want bigger. Set to renovate to increase the store by another 100,000 square feet, increase technology facilities in-store for customers and with recent promotions, Macy's is enjoying a good year. At least Soros seems to agree, and you can't argue with the figures. Macy's has seen a fairly steady increase in revenue since September last year, this recent year being no exception. Currently enjoying a return of +16.86% since July 2011, Macy's is probably pretty chuffed with their efforts. No doubt Soros is pleased also.

Soros certainly has a lot to be happy about at the moment. His investment in the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA:XLP) is also going well. Soros certainly knew which spider to pick. XLP has stood out in recent weeks for a massive inflow in week over week outstanding assets. Valuing approximately $165 million. Seeing a fairly steady and steep increase since December last year, Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR is currently sitting at +10.95% overall for the past year.

The market may have had its ups and downs over the past few years following the global financial crisis, however Soros proves that even in downturns, there is always money to be made. Soros has certainly made his, along with the companies he chose to invest in. If that weren't impressive enough, Soros was recently valued at almost $7 billion. Enough to make us think he knows what he is doing when it comes to investing, anyway.

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