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 "13-F" 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 $7.1 billion in value as of Sept. 30, 2012, and contained just a few dozen stocks. Indeed, the top 10 holdings make up about 63% of the overall portfolio's value.
So what does Tiger Global's latest quarterly 13-F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details.
The biggest new holdings are Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Burger King Worldwide (UNKNOWN:BKW.DL). Other new holdings of interest include Questcor Pharmaceuticals (UNKNOWN:QCOR.DL) and Heckmann (NASDAQOTH:NESC). Questcor has a multiple-sclerosis drug, Acthar, which is selling solidly, and the company is looking to get into rheumatology as well. It has its risks, though, such as an investigation into its marketing practices, and competition.
Wastewater treatment and disposal specialist Heckmann is attracting fans in part because of its work serving the controversial fracking industry and its presence in just about every shale field. Insiders have been buying shares, and doubters have been shorting shares, leading to the possibility of a short squeeze, should the company continue to perform well.
Among holdings in which Tiger Global increased its stake was Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), the search engine giant of China, which has shrunk by 24% over the past year, thanks largely to China's slowing growth rate. The company has been a fast grower, with revenue and earnings sporting five-year average annual growth rates of more than 60%. Meanwhile, much of China and Asia has yet to get online, representing huge growth potential. Baidu does have serious competition, though -- such as from Qihoo 360 Technology (UNKNOWN:QIHU.DL), which Tiger Global actually sold out of during the quarter.
Tiger Global reduced its stake in several companies, including Deckers Outdoor (NYSE:DECK), maker of UGG boots and Teva sandals. With the company challenged by factors such as some rising costs and weakness in Europe, the stock has fallen by more than 60% over the past year, and the company is now reportedly on the block. There's clearly value there, though, with strong brands and its move to integrate vertically by opening its own retail stores.
Finally, Tiger Global's biggest closed positions included Qihoo 360 Technology and HomeAway (UNKNOWN:AWAY.DL). Other closed positions of interest include wireless communications specialist Ubiquiti Networks (NASDAQ:UBNT). Ubiquiti has been fighting counterfeit competition as well as some lawsuits, and it recently lowered guidance. Still, it looks promising on a number of measures, such as manageable debt, strong profit margins, and solid growth.
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 13-F forms can be great places to find intriguing candidates for our portfolios.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, owns shares of Baidu. The Motley Fool owns shares of HomeAway and Baidu. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend HomeAway, Baidu, Burger King Worldwide, and Yahoo!. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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.