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Here's What This $42 Billion Hedge Fund Company Has Been Buying

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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 the D. E. Shaw & Co., founded by David E. Shaw and with a reportable stock portfolio totaled $41.8 billion in value as of March 31.

Shaw is known as a math wizard, and a quantitative investing pioneer. His firm is reportedly extremely selective, hiring less than 1% of applicants -- and CEO Jeff Bezos once made the cut.

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

The biggest new holdings are Liberty Media and the iShares MSCI Mexico Capped Investable Market Index Fund ETF. Other new holdings of interest include Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SRPT  ) . Sarepta stock has soared about ninefold over the past year, and some still see it as undervalued. After Sarepta petitioned the FDA for accelerated approval for its Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug, eteplirsen, the FDA requested more information. That sent shares lower, but management is optimistic about its recent interactions with the FDA.

Among holdings in which D.E. Shaw increased its stake was Keryx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: KERX  ) , which is up more than 350% over the past year. Bulls are excited about its kidney-disease drug, Zerenex. Results for the drug have been promising, and the company is looking to expand its applications and approvals. Not as promising is that the company's experimental colorectal cancer drug perifosine recently posted disappointing results, sending the stock down some. A plus for the company is its ample cash, which should support its drive toward approvals and eventual profits.

D. E. Shaw reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Acadia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACAD  ) and Exelixis (NASDAQ: EXEL  ) . Acadia has skyrocketed over the past year, rising more than 10-fold, on high hopes for its pimavanserin drug, which treats psychosis in patients with Parkinson's disease. If the drug gains FDA approval, it will enjoy little competition and could be a big winner for Acadia. The company thinks the drug might be effective against psychosis related to Alzheimer's disease as well and is conducting trials for that, too. Acadia is also raising about $100 million via a secondary stock offering to fund ongoing and future trials.

Biotech company Exelixis, meanwhile, recently reported non-blowout early sales of its thyroid cancer drug, Cometriq, with management suggesting that it's still too soon to draw conclusions. Some are waiting to see if the drug gets approved to treat prostate cancer, too, and the company is looking at treating as many as nine different conditions with it, such as bone tumors. On the other hand, Cometriq is expensive, and the company's debt has been growing, along with its share count.

Finally, D. E. Shaw's biggest closed positions included Nexen and Mylan. Other closed positions of interest include Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI  ) , which recently hit a five-year high, despite posting disappointing earnings in its last quarter. Still, revenue and earnings are growing at a double-digit rate, which remains attractive. A strong report from Ford is promising for Sirius, as its radios are embedded in many vehicles. Bulls like the company's new personalized radio service, MySXM, too. Meanwhile, Sirius faces competition from Pandora and even Google has a music-streaming business now.

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.

Even though Sirius XM is one of the market's biggest winners since bottoming out three years ago, there's still some healthy upside to be had if things go right for it -- and plenty of room for it to fall if things don't. Read all about Sirius in The Motley Fool's premium report. To get started, just click here now.

Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 30, 2013, at 11:00 PM, Austin77478 wrote:

    "which recently hit a five-year high, despite posting disappointing earnings in its last quarter."

    Selena, Sirius did not post a disappointing earnings in its last quarter. Motley Fool must desist from these lines.

  • Report this Comment On May 31, 2013, at 4:52 AM, duzer5 wrote:

    Also, you don't mention his LMCA shares he's accumulating are 50% owners of SIRI-all he did was cut his risk for having too much into SIRI from owning both. DUH! All MF writers seem to be trying to get SIRI to drop!! Well, it isn't working and music has so little to do with SIRI sat, because it's news, sports, and talk that make it the better chose.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2013, at 1:04 AM, aldehyde wrote:

    hey saran mayonnaise you must be short with your constant bashing of kerx there is nothing recent about perifosine are you a bleached blonde

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