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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 Moore Capital Management, managed by billionaire Louis Moore Bacon. Bacon is known for employing a global macroeconomic focus in his investing, and has been among the top 20 money earners since the 1990s, per GuruFocus.com .
The company's reportable stock portfolio totaled $2.4 billion in value as of Sept. 30, 2012.
So what does Moore's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:
The biggest new holdings are Citigroup (NYSE: C ) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) . Other new, and far smaller, holdings of interest include mortgage REIT American Capital Agency (Nasdaq: AGNC ) , which offers investors a mind-boggling dividend yield above 16%. There are concerns that the dividend may get reduced, but that might not happen for a while. It employs more leverage than some of its peers, but it also invests in more agency-backed mortgages, which are less risky.
Among holdings in which Moore increased its stake was Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYSE: KOG ) , a relatively small energy company with rapidly growing proven reserves – due in part to its efficiency. Bears worry, though, about its cash burn and debt load, and about trouble should oil prices fall.
Moore reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Amarin (Nasdaq: AMRN ) , a late-stage cardiovascular-focused biotech company, with a promising drug to lower triglycerides. Some bulls see its newly approved drug, Vascepa, as underappreciated. Others are simply hoping that the company will be acquired by a big pharmaceutical company. In the meantime, Amarin is securing patents to protect the drug.
Finally, Moore's biggest closed positions included News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWS ) and the SPDR Select Utilities Sector ETF (NYSE: XLU ) . Other closed positions of interest include Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SNSS ) and People's United Financial (Nasdaq: PBCT ) . Sunesis stock has more than tripled over the past year, partly on the expansion of its phase 3 trials for leukemia drug vosaroxin and on thoughts that if approved, the drug could be a half-billion-dollar one.
New England-based People's United Financial (Nasdaq: PBCT ) has been growing via acquisitions and has a solid commercial banking business, but it has bears worrying about its steep tier-1 risk-adjusted capital ratio and high net noninterest expense. It's also among the least-efficient regional banks, by its efficiency ratio. Its dividend yield was recently 5.3%, the dividend has been hiked by an annual average of 8.3% over the past five years, and the company is planning to buy back a lot of its stock.
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.