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Big Guns: The Top Moves of Buffett, Paulson, Soros, Tepper, Gates and More

|Includes:AGRO, ANV, APA, ASML, ATSG, AU, AVEO, AXP, BAC, BAM, BRK.A, Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.A), BRK.B, C, CAT, CNQ, COP, CRESY, CSCO, CSE, DAL, DNDN, ENZN, GS, GT, HPQ, IP, KO, KOF, LRCX, M, MA, MCD, MSI, PDLI, PKX, POT, SHLD, TEX, UAL, VC, WDC, WFC, WM

 By Max Magee

SEC regulations require that institutional investors of a certain size disclose their holdings on a quarterly basis.  By rule, these institutions have 45 days from the end of each quarter to provide snapshot of their holdings at the end of that quarter.  With the Q1 2011 deadline now passed, investors can now get a glimpse into the strategies of some of the world’s greatest investors.

Tickerspy processes and displays the holdings from the SEC filings of thousands of “Pro” investors every quarter, giving investors insight into the moves of the likes of Warren Buffett, George Soros, John Paulson, and others.  The following report will highlight ten of these investors and some of their biggest moves and positions.

Warren Buffett – Berkshire Hathaway - Though Q1 ended with unflattering headlines for Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), there was much less action evident when it came to the firm’s equity portfolio.

The drama for Berkshire started as the quarter neared its close. Soon after the firm announced a $9 billion buyout of chemical firm Lubrizol (LZ), David Sokol, a top executive at Berkshire and one of the leading contenders to replace Buffett suddenly resigned as it came to light that he had purchased shares of Lubrizoil ahead of the buyout deal. The events have clouded the big open question of Buffett’s successor.

Evidently, there may have been several other moves in the Berkshire portfolio, but, as he has sometimes been known to do, Buffett sought a waiver allowing him to keep them confidential. Such waivers allow big investors to build positions without making headlines that would drive up the price.

Selected Notable Moves and Positions

MasterCard

MA

$54.4M | 216.0K shares - New Holding

ConocoPhillips

COP

$2.3B | 29.1M shares - decrease of 8.0K shares

Coca-Cola

KO

$13.3B | 200.0M shares - No Change

Wells Fargo

WFC

$10.9B | 342.6M shares - No Change

American Express

AXP

$6.9B | 151.6M shares - No Change

Visit tickerspy for more Berkshire Hathaway holdings

 

 

 

 

Ken Heebner – Capital Growth Management - After a fall back to earth in 2008 and 2009, Ken Heebner’s once high-flying CGM Focus Fund (MUTF:CGMFX) returned to surer footing in 2010, beating the market slightly, up 17% versus 13% for the S&P 500. So far in 2011, the Focus Fund is down about 8%, while the S&P 500 is up about 6%. While investors may be longing for a return to the world-beating 80% gains the fund put up in 2007, Heebner has undoubtedly been adept at picking out market trends in the past.

Selected Notable Moves and Positions

ASML Holdings

ASML

$216.7M | 4.9M shares - New Holding

Lam Research

LRCX

$198.6M | 3.5M shares - New Holding

United Continental

UAL

$194.3M | 8.4M shares - New Holding

Delta Air Lines

DAL

$155.8M | 15.9M shares - New Holding

Western Digital

WDC

$134.2M | 3.6M shares - New Holding

Visit tickerspy for more Capital Growth Management holdings

 

George Soros – Soros Fund Management - Soros made his name as a hedge fund pioneer, running one of the first such funds, and he is still a frequent commenter on the markets. Though he has turned much of the control of Soros Fund Management over to his two sons, Robert and Jonathan, the firm’s moves are still closely watched.

Selected Notable Moves and Positions

Adecoagro

AGRO

$366.1M | 27.2M shares - New Holding

Visteon

VC

$133.4M | 2.1M shares - New Holding

Motorola Solutions

MSI

$200.2M | 4.5M shares - increase of 3.8M shares

Dendreon

DNDN

$174.9M | 4.7M shares - increase of 473.0K shares

Citigroup

C

$129.9M | 2.9M shares - increase of 1.9M shares

Visit tickerspy for more Soros Fund Management holdings

 

John Paulson – Paulson & Co - Paulson was among the few high-profile investment managers to post consecutive annual gains during the market’s 2008 slide and subsequent rebound in 2009. After a rocky start to 2010, reports indicated that Paulson & Co.’s flagship fund closed out the year strong.

Selected Notable Moves and Positions

Hewlett-Packard

HPQ

$1.0B | 25.0M shares - New Holding

Lubrizol

LZ

$803.8M | 6.0M shares - New Holding

Weyerhaeuser

WY

$779.8M | 31.7M shares - New Holding

Alpha Natural Resources

ANR

$712.4M | 12.0M shares - New Holding

Anglogold

AU

$2.0B | 41.0M shares - increase of 97.5K shares

Visit tickerspy for more Paulson & Co holdings

T. Boone Pickens - BP Capital Management - Texas oil billionaire turned wind energy and natural gas proponent T. Boone Pickens was adding to many of his top positions during Q1, while opening new bets in select energy players.

At the beginning of 2011, Pickens predicted that oil will trade over $100 a barrel this year with prices averaging between $110 and $120, resulting in gasoline prices of $4 a gallon, predictions that have been largely on target, though oil has pulled back in recent weeks. Pickens has also been in the news lately touting an energy bill designed to increase incentives for vehicles that run on natural gas, thus reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Selected Notable Moves and Positions

Apache

APA

$21.6M | 165.0K shares - New Holding

Canadian Natural Resource

CNQ

$15.7M | 317.5K shares - New Holding

BP

BP

$48.2M | 1.1M shares - increase of 89.0K shares

Noble

NE

$35.6M | 781.0K shares - increase of 439.0K shares

EOG Resources

EOG

$25.5M | 215.0K shares - increase of 20.0K shares

Visit tickerspy for more BP Capital Management holdings

 

Bruce Berkowitz - Fairholme Capital Management - Fairholme Fund (MUTF:FAIRX) manager Bruce Berkowitz is far from the average mutual fund chief. Morningstar named Berkowitz the U.S. stock manager of the decade last year. This year, Berkowitz has been embroiled in a battle over long-time holding St. Joe (NYSE:JOE). Berkowitz pushed a proxy battle at the land development firm and took over as chairman in March.

Selected Notable Moves and Positions

Brookfield Asset Management

BAM

$892.6M | 27.5M shares - New Holding

Cisco Systems

CSCO

$614.3M | 35.8M shares - New Holding

Sears Holdings

SHLD

$1.3B | 16.3M shares - increase of 1.4M shares

Bank of America

BAC

$1.2B | 92.6M shares - increase of 509.2K shares

Goldman Sachs

GS

$1.1B | 6.7M shares - increase of 813.4K shares

Visit tickerspy for more Fairholme Capital Management holdings

 

 

 

 

 

Mohnish Pabrai – Pabrai Funds - Closely watched hedge fund manager Mohnish Pabrai is known to maintain a concentrated portfolio and to model his investment style after Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) CEO Warren Buffett. Pabrai’s longest running fund has returned over 18% annually on average since its inception in 2000, and his funds were all up around 5% in the first quarter of 2011.

In Pabrai’s April letter to investors, he explained why his funds have stopped accepting new assets and investors. The hedge fund manager said he’d prefer not to “keep mindlessly adding cash when I have a severe paucity of good investment ideas.” Basically, stocks aren’t cheap right now, in his view, so he’s reluctant to put money to work.

Selected Notable Moves and Positions

Potash

POT

$58.6M | 994.9K shares - decrease of 9.0K shares

Cresud

CRESY

$23.3M | 1.3M shares - decrease of 85.1K shares

Terex

TEX

$12.8M | 345.2K shares - decrease of 185.6K shares

Air Transport Services Group

ATSG

$12.0M | 1.4M shares - decrease of 713.6K shares

Posco

PKX

$7.3M | 64.3K shares - decrease of 149.0K shares

Visit tickerspy for more Pabrai Funds holdings

 

Bill Gates - The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - The Foundation counts Gates’ friend and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett among its trustees. Buffett made headlines in 2006 by pledging $30 billion in Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) stock to the Gates’ charitable efforts. While Gates’ money is managed by his investment officer, Michael Larson, the Microsoft founder’s proximity to Buffett leads many to believe that he has access to the thinking of the world’s most famous investor. Gates also sits on the Berkshire Hathaway board of directors.

Selected Notable Moves and Positions

Coca-Cola Femsa

KOF

$478.5M | 6.2M shares - increase of 598.2K shares

Caterpillar

CAT

$1.1B | 9.6M shares - No Change

Coca-Cola

KO

$775.0M | 11.7M shares - No Change

McDonald’s

MCD

$751.2M | 9.9M shares - No Change

Waste Management

WM

$695.8M | 18.6M shares - No Change

Visit tickerspy for more Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation holdings

 

 

 

 

Seth Klarman – Baupost Group - In 2010, legendary Boston-based hedge fund manager Seth Klarman was a bearish voice among the bulls, noting that the government is “kicking problems down the road” with bailout plans and extended periods of low interest rates.

More recently, Baupost, which manages $24 billion, set up an office in London to take advantage of the sovereign debt crisis occurring in Europe. Given Baupost’s impressive track record — according to a 2008 item in the Harvard Bulletin, Baupost had posted an annual compound return of 20% in the prior 26 years — investors are always interested in its latest disclosed equity holdings.

Selected Notable Moves and Positions

Allied Nevada Gold

ANV

$87.2M | 2.5M shares - New Holding

PDL BioPharma

PDLI

$60.9M | 10.5M shares - increase of 4.9M shares

AVEO Pharmaceuticals

AVEO

$47.0M | 3.5M shares - increase of 1.5M shares

Enzon Pharmaceuticals

ENZN

$98.1M | 9.0M shares - decrease of 64.3K shares

CapitalSource

CSE

$73.6M | 10.4M shares - decrease of 5.5M shares

Visit tickerspy for more Baupost Group holdings

 

David Tepper – Appaloosa Management - Billionaire David Tepper returned investors an astounding 132% net of fees in 2009 and 21% in 2010, and, as 2011 got underway, the fund manager remained bullish, with Tepper telling CNBC in January that he’s “cautious but optimistic” about equity markets and the economy. Given Tepper’s outlook, his recently disclosed end-of-Q1 equity holdings, which show a big move away from bank stocks, are in focus.

Selected Notable Moves and Positions

Hewlett-Packard

HPQ

$259.4M | 6.3M shares - increase of 487.6K shares

Goodyear Tire & Rubber

GT

$228.4M | 15.2M shares - increase of 5.2M shares

International Paper

IP

$173.2M | 5.7M shares - increase of 338.9K shares

Macy’s

M

$162.8M | 6.7M shares - increase of 1.5M shares

United Continental

UAL

$131.9M | 5.7M shares - increase of 1.9M shares

Visit tickerspy for more Appaloosa Management holdings

  

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
Stocks: BRK.A, BRK.B, BRK.A, MA, COP, KO, WFC, AXP, ASML, LRCX, UAL, DAL, WDC, AGRO, VC, MSI, DNDN, C, HPQ, WYZQ, AU, APA, CNQ, BAM, CSCO, SHLD, BAC, GS, POT, CRESY, TEX, ATSG, PKX, KOF, CAT, MCD, WM, ANV, PDLI, AVEO, ENZN, CSE, GT, IP, M