Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they've bought and sold. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.
Today let's look at Appaloosa Management, founded by investing giant David Tepper and known for investing in the debt of companies in distress. Tepper's investing history includes debt and stock in companies such as Enron and Worldcom. He made billions on bank stocks in 2009 after they had imploded and before they recovered. More recently, he invested in many housing-related companies.
Why should you look at Appaloosa Management's moves? Well, according to the folks at GuruFocus.com, Appaloosa gained a whopping 1,335% in the first decade of this century, compared with just 16% for the S&P 500.
Appaloosa's stock portfolio totaled $4 billion in value as of March 31, 2012. Its top three holdings, representing 47% of the portfolio's total value, were PowerShares QQQ (a Nasdaq-focused ETF), Apple, and Citigroup.
So what does Appaloosa's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:
New holdings include Chimera Investment
Called "a disruptive tech stock poised for greatness," Fusion-io is an innovator in the data-storage realm, combining solid-state memory technology with its proprietary software to help companies manage their growing storage needs. To many investors, the only problem with the company is its stock's steep valuation. Others worry about shrinking margins and competition, such as from deep-pocketed EMC.
Among holdings in which Appaloosa increased its stake was Valero Energy
Appaloosa reduced its stake in a handful of companies, including International Paper
Finally, Appaloosa unloaded all of its shares of medical-device company Boston Scientific
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 owns shares of Apple, but she holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see her holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and creating a bull call spread position on Apple, as well as creating a ratio put spread position in PowerShares QQQ. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.