At The Motley Fool, we understand that it often pays to zig when the rest of Wall Street zags. Like us, hedge funds rarely move in lockstep with the broader market. By tracking these little-followed funds' buy and sell decisions, we can often gain valuable insights into opportunities the market might be missing.

Every quarter, any fund managers overseeing more than $100 million must publicly disclose their quarter-end holdings with the Securities and Exchange Commission's Form 13-F. It lists all U.S.-traded securities the fund's manager held at the end of the quarter. Although the form doesn't disclose short positions or intraquarter trades, it can illuminate long stock bets.

Meet Snow Capital Management
Richard Snow founded Snow Capital Management in 2001. The company seeks to invest in high-quality, undervalued stocks, continually re-evaluating its selections to try to gain greater stability and long-term potential. The total market value of Snow Capital Management's disclosed equity holdings as of March 31 -- the latest quarter for which data is available -- was $2.7 billion across 87 holdings.

The fund's 10 largest positions (by value) and associated changes as of March 31 were:

  1. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) -- reduced 1.3%
  2. Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO) -- reduced 5.8%
  3. Patterson-UTI Energy (Nasdaq: PTEN) -- reduced 7.9%
  4. Alcoa  (NYSE: AA) -- reduced 2.5%
  5. Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) -- increased 3.8%
  6. General Electric (NYSE: GE) -- reduced 6.7%
  7. Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO) -- reduced 8.2%
  8. ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP)-- reduced 5.4%
  9. Unitedhealth Group (NYSE: UNH)  -- reduced 5.8%
  10. Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC)-- increased 2.6%

Outside the top 10 holdings:

  • Rising Positions: The fund increased its positions in Hartford Financial Services and Wet Seal.
  • Falling Positions: The fund reduced its exposure to Brocade Communications Systems and Cisco Systems.
  • Eliminated Positions: During the quarter, the fund sold out of stock positions, including Agilent Technologies.

Selected Q1 2011 commentary
Snow Capital Management has a diversified portfolio, with financial, health-care, and energy stocks making up more than 60% of the portfolio. Here's where the firm is winning and making new bets at the moment:

  • Current winner: Marathon Oil did well, jumping 45% in the first quarter.
  • New bets: New additions include TCF Financial and Barnes Group, comprising 1.7% and 0.9% of the total portfolio.

So there you have it -- the blow-by-blow of Snow Capital Management's latest moves. Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

The Motley Fool owns shares of UnitedHealth Group, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase; has created a ratio put spread position on Wells Fargo; and has created a bull call spread position on Cisco Systems. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of UnitedHealth Group, Pfizer, and Cisco Systems, and creating a diagonal call position on UnitedHealth Group. 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.