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Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they've bought and sold, on "13-F" filings. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.
Today let's look at Moore Capital Management, managed by Louis Moore Bacon. A billionaire known for employing a global macroeconomic focus in his investing, he's been among the top 20 money earners since the 1990s, per GuruFocus.com.
The company's reportable stock portfolio totaled $1.7 billion in value as of June 30.
So what does Moore's latest quarterly 13-F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details.
Its biggest new holding was Human Genome Sciences, which in July agreed to be bought by GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK ) . The company is attractive because of its newly FDA-approved lupus drug, Benlysta, as well as for other formulations in its pipeline, such as an anthrax-fighting treatment.
Among holdings in which Moore increased its stake was Amarin (Nasdaq: AMRN ) , a late-stage cardiovascular-focused biotech company. Amarin's shares surged nearly 20% recently, on promising developments for its newly approved drug, Vascepa, and the possibility of a partnership with a big pharmaceutical company or an outright acquisition. There could be more good news if the drug is approved for other treatments. Just last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled favorably for two Vascepa-related patent applications.
Moore reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYSE: KOG ) and Corning (NYSE: GLW ) . Kodiak is a relatively small energy company with rapidly growing proven reserves. Bears worry, though, about its cash burn and debt load. The company recently reported some net gains instead of net losses, and Wall Street analysts upgraded it. Our own Fool analysts see it as a potential high-risk, high-reward investment.
Glass and fiber-optics giant Corning has suffered from weakness in the LCD panel market, with fewer-than-expected new TVs selling. Demand is likely to perk up eventually, though, which will boost Corning's business. Meanwhile, Corning's Gorilla Glass has found a profitable home in millions of smartphones and tablets, which, unlike TVs, are selling like hotcakes. The company has a promising new product as well: Willow Glass, which is thin and -- get this -- flexible. Corning, too, has gotten an upgrade from Wall Street analysts, partly on expected big sales for the iPhone 5.
Finally, Moore unloaded a bunch of companies, such as Weatherford International (NYSE: WFT ) . The oil-and-gas services and equipment specialist recently reported rising revenue, but it's also being investigated for possible improper accounting and behaviors in other countries and has estimated that settlement costs might be $100 million. Its debt level has roughly doubled over the past five years, and it has moved to lower its tax bill by relocating to Switzerland.
We should never blindly copy any investor's moves, no matter how talented the investor. But it can be useful to keep an eye on what smart folks are doing, and 13-F forms can be great places to find intriguing candidates for our portfolios.
If the upcoming iPhone has you intrigued by Corning, learn more about its risks and great potential in our premium research report on the company. It comes with a year of free updates.