Tracking John Paulson's Paulson & Company Portfolio - Q1 2022 Update

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John Vincent
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Summary

  • John Paulson’s 13F portfolio value increased marginally from $3.24B to $3.25B this quarter.
  • Paulson & Company added SPDR Gold Trust ETF while reducing Pacira BioSciences and TIM S.A. They also dropped Shell plc and TotalEnergies SE.
  • The top three positions are at 43% of the portfolio.

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This article is part of a series that provides an ongoing analysis of the changes made to John Paulson's 13F stock portfolio on a quarterly basis. It is based on Paulson's regulatory 13F Form filed on 5/16/2022. Please visit our Tracking John Paulson's Paulson & Company Portfolio series to get an idea of his investment philosophy and our previous update for the fund's moves during Q4 2021.

This quarter, Paulson's 13F portfolio value increased marginally from $3.24B to $3.25B. There are 33 13F securities in the portfolio although only 27 of them are significantly large equity holdings (more than 0.5% of the 13F portfolio). The article is focused on the larger holdings. The top five positions are Horizon Therapeutics, Bausch Health, Brightsphere Investment Group, SPDR Gold ETF, and Occidental Petroleum. They add up to ~54% of the portfolio.

John Paulson is best known for his highly leveraged bets against the real-estate bubble that netted him billions in the aftermath. To learn more about that, check-out the book "The Greatest Trade Ever". In July 2020, Paulson announced that they are returning all outside money and are converting to a Family Office structure.

Note 1: Last August, Paulson called a bubble in crypto (OTC:GBTC) (OTCQX:ETHE) saying "I would describe cryptocurrencies as a limited supply of nothing." But he is not shorting crypto because of its volatility.

Note 2: Paulson & Company is known to have a huge position in Fannie/Freddie (OTCQB:FNMA) (OTCQB:FMCC) although the details have not been disclosed.

New Stakes:

SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM): GLD is a large (top five) 5.56% of the portfolio position purchased this quarter at prices between ~$167 and ~$192 and the stock currently trades at ~$174. The ~2% AEM position came about as a result of Agnico's acquisition of Kirkland Lake Gold in an all-stock deal (0.7935 shares of AEM for each share held) that closed in January. Paulson & Company had a 1.303M share stake in Kirkland Lake Gold for which they received these shares.

Stake Disposals:

Cerner Corporation (CERN): CERN was a 1.36% of the portfolio merger-arbitrage stake established last quarter. Oracle is buying Cerner in a $95 per share all-cash deal announced in December. The position was dropped this quarter at prices between ~$91 and ~$94. The stock currently trades at $94.44.

Shell plc (SHEL): SHEL is a 1.34% of the portfolio position established in Q2 2021 at prices between ~$37.75 and ~$42.35. The stake was reduced by ~50% last quarter at prices between ~$37 and ~$45. The disposal this quarter was at prices between ~$44.50 and ~$55.75. It now goes for $59.94.

BP plc (BP), Kirkland Lake Gold, and TotalEnergies SE (TTE): These small (less than 1.75% of the portfolio each) stakes were eliminated during the quarter.

Stake Decreases:

Horizon Therapeutics (HZNP): HZNP is currently the largest position at ~18% of the portfolio. It was purchased in Q2 2017 at prices between $9.65 and $15.75 and increased by ~40% in Q4 2017 at prices between $13 and $15. There was a ~23% stake increase in Q3 2019 at prices between $23 and $28. Q2 2020 saw a ~16% selling at prices between $30 and $57 while in Q4 2020 there was a ~20% stake increase at prices between ~$67 and ~$84. Q3 2021 saw a ~23% reduction at prices between ~$92 and ~$110. The stock is now at ~$88. Last two quarters have seen minor trimming.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY): OXY is a 5.42% stake that saw a ~150% increase in Q1 2021 at prices between ~$17.50 and ~$31.25. Next quarter saw another two-thirds increase at prices between ~$23.20 and ~$32.90. There was a ~25% selling in Q3 2021 at prices between ~$22 and ~$33. This quarter saw another ~17% trimming at prices between ~$31 and ~$61. The stock is now at ~$65.

Exxon Mobil (XOM): XOM is a small 2.54% stake built over the two quarters through Q1 2021 at prices between ~$32 and ~$62. Q2 2021 saw a ~50% stake increase at prices between ~$55 and ~$65. Last three quarters have seen a one-third selling at prices between ~$53 and ~$88. The stock is now at $94.40.

Pacira BioSciences (PCRX): The 1.17% PCRX stake was built in Q2 & Q3 2019 at prices between $35.50 and $48. There was a ~25% reduction in Q2 2020 at prices between $31 and $53. Last quarter saw a ~35% stake increase at prices between ~$48 and ~$62. The position was reduced by ~70% this quarter at prices between ~$60 and ~$77. The stock is now at $60.65.

TIM S.A. (TIMB): The 1.40% TIMB stake was primarily built in Q1 2021 at prices between ~$11 and ~$14. This quarter saw the position reduced by ~75% to a very small 0.43% stake at prices between ~$11 and ~$15. It currently trades at $14.34.

Newmark Group (NMRK): The very small 0.69% of the portfolio stake in NMRK was reduced by ~40% this quarter.

Stake Increases:

Kraneshares CSI China Internet (KWEB): KWEB is a 2.91% of the portfolio position primarily built this quarter at prices between ~$21 and ~$39 and the stock currently trades at $24.79.

DiDi Global (DIDI): DIDI had an IPO last June. Shares started trading at ~$14 and currently goes for $1.48. Paulson's 1.83% of the portfolio position goes back to investments made in the 2016-2018 timeframe. Q3 2021 saw a ~15% stake increase at prices between ~$7.20 and ~$16.40. This quarter saw another ~175% stake increase at prices between ~$1.75 and ~$5.35.

Note: DIDI has plans to delist from NYSE and they have submitted the paperwork this Monday.

Tellurian Inc. (TELL): The 1.14% of the portfolio TELL stake saw a ~40% stake increase this quarter at prices between ~$2.25 and ~$6.35. The stock currently trades at $4.45.

Kept Steady:

Bausch Health Companies (BHC) previously Valeant Pharmaceuticals: BHC position was increased by almost 300% in Q1 2015 at prices between $143 and $205 and another ~340% the following quarter at prices between $197 and $242. Q4 2015 also saw a ~50% increase at prices between $70 and $182. The aggressive buying against falling prices continued in Q2 2016: ~44% increase at prices between $19 and $36. Q2 2020 saw another ~25% stake increase at ~$16.50 per share. The stock currently trades at $9.28, and the stake is the second-largest position in the portfolio at 18%.

BrightSphere Investment Group (BSIG): The large (top three) ~7% BSIG stake was built in Q4 2018 at prices between $10 and $13.30. Q1 2019 saw a huge ~285% stake increase at prices between $11 and $14.25. There was a ~55% reduction last quarter at ~$31.50 per share as they participated in a fixed-tender-offer by the company. The stock currently trades at $19.48.

Note: Paulson's ownership stake in BSIG is ~20%.

NovaGold Resources (NG): NG is a 5.29% of the portfolio long-term stake established in 2010. Q2 2016 saw a ~28% reduction at prices between $5 and $6.50 and that was followed with a ~13% selling in Q4 2016. Q1 2020 saw a ~15% stake increase at prices between $5.87 and $9.51 while next quarter saw a ~12% trimming at prices between $7.40 and $12. The stock is currently at $5.83.

Note: Paulson has a high cost-basis on NG and controls ~7% of the business.

AngloGold Ashanti (AU): AU is a 4.36% position. It is a long-term stake that has been in the portfolio since 2009. Q4 2015 had seen a ~9% trimming while the following quarter saw a one-third reduction at prices between $7 and $14. Q2 2016 saw another ~20% reduction at prices between $13 and $18. H1 2020 had seen a ~45% reduction at prices between $14 and $30. That was followed with a ~14% selling in Q4 2020. The stock is currently at ~$18.

APA Corporation (APA): The 3.82% APA stake was purchased in Q2 2021 at prices between ~$17 and ~$23.50. Next quarter saw a ~25% selling at prices between ~$16 and ~$23. The stock is now at $43.62

Barrick Gold (GOLD) and Seabridge Gold (SA): The 3.43% GOLD position saw a ~130% stake increase in Q4 2020 at prices between ~$22.50 and ~$29.50. There was a ~50% increase in Q2 2021 at prices between ~$19.80 and ~$25.30. The stock is now at $21.31. The small 1.18% SA position saw a ~125% increase in Q4 2020 at prices between ~$17 and ~$21. There was a roughly one-third increase in Q2 2021 at prices between ~$16.15 and ~$19.75. It currently trades at $14.43.

Perpetua Resources (PPTA): The 3.13% PPTA stake was purchased in Q4 2020 at prices between ~$6 and ~$11 and the stock currently trades at $3.38. There was a ~18% stake increase in Q3 2021 at prices between ~$4.75 and ~$7.70.

Note: Paulson & Company has a one-third ownership stake in the business.

SSR Mining Inc. (SSRM): The ~2% of the portfolio stake in SSR saw a ~140% stake increase last quarter at prices between ~$14.50 and ~$20. The stock currently trades at $20.54.

International Tower Hill Mines (THM): THM is a 1.87% of the portfolio stake established in the 2013-2015 timeframe at a very low cost-basis. Q4 2020 also saw the purchase of around 2.34M shares at ~$1.40. The stock is now at $0.69.

Note: Paulson has a ~32% ownership stake in International Tower Hill Mines.

Thryv Holdings (THRY) previously Dex Media: The 1.85% THRY stake was established in Q4 2020 at prices between ~$8 and ~$14. Q1 2021 saw a ~12% trimming at $27 per share. Next two quarters saw another ~25% selling at prices between ~$27 and ~$41.50. The stock currently trades at ~$24. Paulson & Company has a 6.3% ownership stake in the business.

Endo International plc (ENDP): The 1.23% ENDP position saw a ~50% stake increase in Q3 2020 at prices between ~$2.75 and ~$3.65. That was followed with a 25% increase in Q4 2020 at prices between ~$3.35 and ~$7.20. It is a long-term stake that has been in the portfolio since 2015. Their original ~9.6M share position was built during the three quarters through Q1 2016 at a very high cost-basis compared to the current trading price of $0.36. The stake had wavered over the years.

Note: Their ownership stake in the business is ~7.4%.

Bally's Corporation (BALY), Equinox Gold (EQX), Trilogy Metals (TMQ), and VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (OIH): These very small (less than ~1% of the portfolio each) positions were kept steady this quarter.

Note: Paulson has a ~7% ownership stake in Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG). As a percentage of the portfolio, the position is minutely small.

The spreadsheet below highlights changes to Paulson's US stock holdings in Q1 2022:

John Paulson - Paulson & Company's Q1 2022 13F Report Q/Q Comparison

John Paulson - Paulson & Company's Q1 2022 13F Report Q/Q Comparison (John Vincent (author))

This article was written by

John Vincent profile picture
21.4K Followers
Focused on cloning strategies by analyzing 13F reports of a curated set of around fifty super-investors and generating Absolute Returns thru exploiting inefficiency, volatility, and momentum.

Disclosure: I/we have a beneficial long position in the shares of BHC, FNMA, FMCC, GBTC, SHEL either through stock ownership, options, or other derivatives. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: I am long Fannie/Freddie pfds.

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