Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global is a long/short equity fund that uses a bottom-up approach to picking its stocks. In an investor’s letter earlier this year, Halvorsen explained:
We are stock pickers. We believe that our thoughtful analysis and disciplined valuation over time yield a diversified portfolio of longs and shorts whose stock price developments will deviate from each other and provide a profitable spread.
Top Holdings in Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global
In the third quarter, Halvorsen changed up his fund’s portfolio quite a bit. At the end of the second quarter, Halvorsen’s top holdings, in order, were Invesco (NYSE:IVZ), Time Warner Cable (TWC), Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL), Priceline.com (PCLN) and News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA). At the end of the third quarter, only two of those positions remained. Halvorsen’s top holdings at the end of September were U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), Invesco (IVZ), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Time Warner Cale (TWC) and H&R Block (NYSE:HRB).
Viking Global’s New Purchases
AAPL is a new position for Viking Global. Halvorsen bought 1.132 million shares of the company in the third quarter. Other new positions for the fund included MasterCard (NYSE:MA), Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Capital One (NYSE:COF), Monsanto (NYSE:MON), SanDisk (SNDK) and Healthspring (NYSE:HS), among others. A
APL was the largest of Viking Global’s new holdings, at just over 5% of the fund’s portfolio, but many of the fund’s new positions were significant. In the case of Citigroup, Halvorsen bought more than 6 million shares in the third quarter, putting the Citigroup position as 1.8% of the Viking Global portfolio. MA was even greater. Halvorsen bought 762,000 shares of the company as of the end of September, bringing its percentage in the Viking Global portfolio to 2.81%.
Halvorsen Sells JPM, EBAY, MS, AIG, BLK, STX, Others
Andreas Halvorsen was less encouraged on other stocks. He sold out several of his fund’s positions, including BlackRock Inc (NYSE:BLK), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Marriott International (NYSE:MAR), Aetna (NYSE:AET), Starwood Hotels (HOT), Metlife (NYSE:MET), American International Group (NYSE:AIG) and eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), among others. In contrast, Leon Cooperman increased his Omega Advisors position in EBAY during the third quarter (read about Leon Cooperman’s top picks). Halvorsen also sold out of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX). He'd had had more than $390.5 million in JPM at the end of the second quarter and more than $323.8 million in STX.
Halvorsen Ups the Ante on HIG, CI, CFN, More
Andreas Halvorsen upped Viking Global’s ante on several stocks. He increased the fund’s positions in Hartford (NYSE:HIG), Qualcom (NASDAQ:QCOM), Cigna (NYSE:CI), Carefusion (NYSE:CFN), H&R Block (HRB), Invesco (IVZ), Humana (NYSE:HUM), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and many others. In the case of USB, Halvorsen upped his stake in the company by over 150% in the third quarter. Halvorsen increased the Viking Global stake in CFN by more than 260%, the CI stake by over 110% and its stake in HIG by over 122%.
Halvorsen Backs Off Several Stocks
Andreas Halvorsen also reduced several positions in the third quarter, including several that had been top positions for Viking Global. Halvorsen cut his fund’s position in Estee Lauder (EL) by more than 75%, while reducing Viking Global’s holdings of Priceline.com (PCLN) by over 67% in the third quarter. Halvorsen also reduced Viking Global’s positions in News Corp (NWSA), Sherwin Williams (NYSE:SHW), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Time Warner Cable (TWC), Potash Corp. Of Saskatchewan (POT) and Goodrich Corp. (NYSE:GR), as well as several others. In contrast, Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management has AMZN as one if its top holdings as of September 30, 2011 (see Ken Fisher’s top holdings here).
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.