See What This $12 Billion Hedge Fund Company Has Bought

It can pay off to keep an eye on the big guys.

May 21, 2014 at 5:45PM

The latest 13F season is here, when many money managers issue required reports on their holdings. It can be worthwhile to pay attention, as you might get an investment idea or two by seeing what some major investors have been buying and selling.

For example, consider Bridgewater Associates, one of the world's largest hedge fund companies. According to its recently released 13F statement, the company has increased its positions in Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), Staples, (NASDAQ:SPLS), and Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC).

Intel dismayed some investors when it got the boot from Samsung tablets, lost some 64-bit ground to competitors, and was late getting into Android devices. But Intel isn't standing still. It's reorganizing in a way to boost its mobile development, and it has promising new products rolling out. The company's first-quarter results were auspicious, too, with earnings down but still topping expectations, and management pointing to 5 million tablet processors shipped. Cloud hardware sales have also been strong, and the company's cash flow remains prodigious, topping $10 billion annually. Bulls have high hopes for Intel's Broxton chip that serves both tablets and phones, as well as its enterprise server platform. Intel stock offers a hefty 3.5% dividend yield for patient believers.

Staples stock plunged by more than 12% today, following a first-quarter report that featured revenue down 3% over year-ago levels, and earnings down 43%. The company, struggling with intense competition online, is planning to save hundreds of millions of dollars by closing up to 10% of its North American stores. Cutting costs is often good, but store closings limit growth potential -- though success in the online sphere can more than make up for it. An interesting initiative is a plan to have in-store U.S. Post Office locations, though that has generated some controversy. Staples recently sported a dividend yield of 3.6%.

Symantec Corporation, a technology company specializing in security and backup software (think Norton security software, for example), sports an appealing dividend yield of 2.7%. Its stock price is also appealing, with a forward P/E near 11. Things haven't been going too smoothly for the company, though, as it abruptly dismissed its CEO in March. Its fourth quarter, though, reported in May, featured earnings rising 4% over year-ago levels, and topping expectations, albeit with revenue down 6% due to sluggish demand. Earnings were supported by effective cost-cutting, and management expects a return to revenue growth in 2015. Bears charge that Symantec's growth rate is too sluggish, that it has been slow to capitalize on mobile technology, that its strength is in a weakening PC market, and that it faces growing competition. Bulls like its strong cash flow and low price.

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Longtime Fool specialist Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, owns shares of Intel. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel and Staples. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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