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 GMT Capital, a private investment company founded by Thomas Claugus in 1990 that manages several hedge funds and other accounts. Its stock portfolio totaled $3.9 billion in value as of March 31, 2012. You don't generally grow that large without doing some things right. The company's Bay Resource Partners hedge fund was named one of the richest 100 last year by Bloomberg. In its first 15 years, it averaged a 20% annual return, almost twice that of the S&P 500.
So what does GMT Capital's latest quarterly 13-F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:
New holdings include beleaguered drugstore chain Walgreen
Among holdings in which GMT Capital increased its stake was semiconductor fabrication equipment giant Applied Materials
GMT Capital reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Corning
Finally, GMT Capital unloaded several companies, such as Magnum Hunter Resources
SandRidge has investors worried in part because of its steep debt load, coupled with low prices for natural gas. It's focusing more on its oil business these days, which is more profitable, but that strategy may not be enough for terrific results. Still, it has been investing and exploring aggressively, and might reward risk-takers.
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. 13-F forms can be great places to find intriguing candidates for our portfolios.
It's reasonable to be doubtful about SandRidge and even Magnum Hunter -- so if you would like to profit handsomely from energy, cast a wider net. Consider checking out our special free report, too, on "The Only Energy Stock You'll Ever Need."
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, owns shares of Corning, 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 Corning. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Express Scripts and Corning. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.