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 Farallon Capital Management, which was founded by Thomas Steyer in 1986 and employs a bottom-up fundamental investing strategy.
The company's reportable stock portfolio totaled $3.9 billion in value as of June 30, 2012.
So what does Farallon's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details.
New holdings include rare-earth-mineral specialist Molycorp
Among holdings in which Farallon increased its stake were Westport Innovations
Oil and gas company Ultra Petroleum has been a mixed bag for investors, averaging 19% annual gains over the past decade but 16% annual losses over the past five years. Like its peers, it has been whacked by the oversupply and low price of natural gas, and it has cut back on production. But demand should eventually pick up, and it should do well at that point, as it's a low-cost producer. Bears are steering clear, though, worried about steep debt and expecting gas prices to stay low for a long time.
Farallon reduced its stake in several companies, including Oracle
Finally, Farallon unloaded several companies, several of which were bought out by others. Medco Health, for example, merged with Express Scripts
We should never blindly copy any investor's moves, no matter how talented he or she may be. 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.
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Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see her holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Westport Innovations, Ultra Petroleum, and Express Scripts. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Ultra Petroleum, Westport Innovations, and Express Scripts. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.