Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they've bought and sold, via "13F" filings. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.
Today let's look at Kynikos Associates, founded in 1985 by investing giant Jim Chanos. Chanos is known for being an early spotter of trouble at Enron, betting against it, and profiting while others got crushed.
The company's reportable stock portfolio totaled $269 million in value as of June 30, 2012.
So what does Kynikos Associates' latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details.
New holdings include Chicago Bridge & Iron
Among holdings in which Kynikos increased its stake were Deere
Deere has been growing its revenue and earnings at an accelerating pace over the past few years. In its most recent quarter, earnings per share advanced by 23%. Boding well for it is its heavy exposure to global economies, including many fast-growing emerging markets. The company also sports a dividend yield near 2.2%, which it has been upping by an average of 13.9% annually over the past five years. Those worried about drought-related problems can rest easy knowing that farmers are expected to keep investing in necessary equipment, thanks in part to crop insurance and high commodity prices.
Rackspace is a cloud-computing company offering enterprise hosting services. It's growing its revenue and earnings at an accelerating rate, but it also faces competition from companies such as Amazon, which has recently taken steps to beef up its customer service to compete with Rackspace's famous "fanatical" service. It has been performing well lately, becoming more efficient and getting involved in the promising "big data" field.
Fellow cloud-computing company VMWare has been profiting from growing demand for storage in the sky. VMWare is selling cloud software and applications that run on it, and its service sales have been growing briskly. Bulls like its $1.3 billion acquisition of software-based networking expert Nicira, and with its revenue growing much faster than its stock price lately, some see it as attractively priced, too.
Kynikos completely sold out of a few stocks, such as gaming giant Activision Blizzard
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. 13-F forms can be great places to find intriguing candidates for our portfolios.
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