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Here's What Tiger Global Management, a Hedge Fund Pioneer, Has Been Buying

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Editor's Note: A previous version of this article erroneously attributed the founding of Tiger Global Management to Julian Robertson, who founded the unrelated hedge fund Tiger Management. Charles Coleman, who once worked for Robertson, founded Tiger Global Management. The author and the Fool regret the error.

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 Tiger Global Management. The company's reportable stock portfolio totaled $5.4 billion in value as of Dec. 31 and contained just a few dozen stocks. Indeed, the top 10 holdings make up about 62% of the overall portfolio's value.

Interesting developments
So what does Tiger Global's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details.

The biggest new holdings are Starz and FleetCor Technologies. Other new holdings of interest include First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR  ) . The company has struggled, along with many peers, but bulls have high hopes for its projects in emerging markets such as India and note that it's one of the lowest-cost installers and has a stronger balance sheet than its rivals. My colleague Travis Hoium thinks the company would do well to shift some attention from serving utilities to residential and commercial work, and that it might even change its financial structure.

Among holdings in which Tiger Global Management increased its stake were 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) and Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI  ) . Three-dimensional-printing specialist 3D Systems recently disappointed investors with a strong quarter that just wasn't as strong as many had hoped. Some worry about cutbacks in military or industrial spending, but there's also a promising consumer market. Meanwhile, the recent price drop spells opportunity to some.

Long known for its postage-meter business, Pitney Bowes yields a whopping 11.5%. It has been challenged by the growth of electronic communications over mailed communications. On the plus side, though, Pitney Bowes is involved in other less-threatened  and higher-margin businesses as well, such as providing geocoding software to Facebook and others. The company recently posted estimate-topping quarterly results, and its single-digit P/E ratio is enticing, but it does carry some risks and considerable debt, and its hefty dividend may end up reduced.

Tiger Global Management reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR  ) . Frontier offers a tantalizing 9.8% dividend yield, but it's experiencing shrinking cash flow, steep interest expenses, and revenue drops in its data and Internet services. My colleague Rick Munarriz reminds us that steep yields bear close watching. Indeed, Frontier is paying out more than it's making.

Finally, Tiger Global's biggest closed positions included Google and calls on Apple. Other closed positions of interest include wastewater treatment and disposal specialist Heckmann (NASDAQOTH: NESC  ) , which is making money serving the controversial fracking industry and is present in just about every shale field. The company has been unprofitable, but it has been turning that around and made a promising purchase of Power Fuels last year.

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 13F forms can be great places to find intriguing candidates for our portfolios.

3D Systems is at the leading edge of a disruptive technological revolution, with the broadest portfolio of 3-D printers in the industry. However, despite years of earnings growth, 3D Systems' share price has risen even faster, and today the company sports a dizzying valuation. To help investors decide whether the future of additive manufacturing is bright enough to justify the lofty price tag on the company's shares, The Motley Fool has compiled a premium research report on whether 3D Systems is a buy right now. In our report, we take a close look at 3D Systems' opportunities, risks, and critical factors for growth. You'll also find reasons to buy or sell the stock today. To start reading, simply click here now for instant access.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2013, at 10:30 AM, jungleefool wrote:

    when fool says buy something or fool starts pumping something like FSLR sell the stock right away without any delay on market rate. Do exactly opposite to what fool says. Thats what i heard from some people, not my opinion.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2013, at 11:09 AM, nancydog wrote:

    I've done quite well with Fool. Of course, there's always due diligence to self involved. In fact, even with a wild mix, in the past three years, I've increased the value of our holdings by about 90% and our dividend income by about 40%. I think that if I were to kick off now, my wife wouldn't have to do anything for about 10 years. I'm starting to pare the # of our holdings (a mix of about 70 different companies and mutual funds and one index fund). Since I started with the Fool, I've been satisfied, however lately, I've noticed a tendency to become more commercialized, in that they've started to become money-grubbers.

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