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 Moore Capital Management, managed by billionaire Louis Moore Bacon, who's known for employing a global macroeconomic focus in his investing. He's been among the top 20 money earners since the 1990s, per GuruFocus.com.
The company's reportable stock portfolio totaled $3.9 billion in value as of Dec. 31.
So what does Moore's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details,
The biggest new holdings are calls on two ETFs -- PowerShares QQQ and Market Vectors Gold Miners. Other new holdings of interest include Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRPT) and RF Micro Devices (UNKNOWN:RFMD.DL). Sarepta Therapeutics has a lot of people excited about its innovative and promising Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug eteplirsen, which may end up winning accelerated FDA approval. Some wonder whether the company will get bought out, while Wall Street's interest in the company is growing. Its recent reported loss isn't as alarming as it seems, either. The company is spending money on boosting its production capacity, too.
RF Micro Devices specializes in radio-frequency (RF) components and semiconductors and has been faring well, as a result of being a component supplier for iDevices. It also supports lower-end phones. Bulls are hopeful about it doing a lot of business in China, where smartphones and upgrades of phones are strong sellers. Some analysts are also expecting a rebound in global semiconductor demand, which bodes well for the company, and smartphones are increasingly employing more RF technology.
Among holdings in which Moore Capital increased its stake was American Capital Agency (NASDAQ:AGNC), which offers investors a huge dividend yield topping 15%. Some worry that the dividend may get reduced (as has happened with some mortgage REITs), but its CEO is bullish enough to have bought more than $500,000 worth of shares recently. In the meantime, the company recently benefited from an increased interest-rate spread higher than some high-profile peers. It has also boosted the proportion of its portfolio that isn't likely to suffer from borrowers who refinance and prepay mortgages. Be wary, though, as there are some aspects of the company that aren't too appealing, and it's quite sensitive to changes in interest rates and inflation. My colleagues have questioned some of management's moves, too.
Moore Capital reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Melco Crown Entertainment (NASDAQ:MLCO). Melco Crown operates casinos in gaming Mecca Macau, and it has been performing well lately, racking up revenue and earnings gains, and more than doubling its EBITDA margin over the past few years. It's expanding with properties in the Philippines and elsewhere, too.
Finally, Moore's biggest closed positions included US Bancorp and the iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond ETF. Other closed positions of interest include TECO Energy (UNKNOWN:TE.DL). Holding company TECO yields about 5% and has been paying dividends for 89 consecutive years. Its recent earnings report disappointed many, though, in part because of declines in its coal operations. (It's not the only coal-involved company struggling.) The company foresees further performance pressures in 2013 but pointed to strong customer growth despite a drop in volume partly due to weather.
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.