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 SAC Capital Advisors, run by Steven Cohen. SAC is one of the biggest hedge funds around, with a reportable stock portfolio totaling more than $22 billion in value as of March 31, 2012. A fund doesn't easily grow that large without performing well, and indeed, Cohen has reportedly averaged returns of roughly 30% annually over two decades.
SAC Capital's top holdings as of March 31 were Ensco plc, SPDR S&P 500, and Murphy Oil. Together they represent just 3.4% of the overall portfolio, though, since SAC encompasses more than 1,700 holdings.
So what does SAC Capital's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:
New holdings include WPX Energy
Among holdings in which SAC Capital increased its stake were Sirius XM Radio
Sandridge Energy, meanwhile, is another oil and gas company thwarted by the low price of natural gas. Like others, it's shifting its attention to oil, but some remain skeptical about its prospects, especially given its steep debt load. The company spun off two royalty trusts in order to generate cash, and is investing that aggressively in more assets.
SAC Capital reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Heckmann
Finally, SAC Capital unloaded several companies, such as Acme Packet
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. 13F forms can be great places to find intriguing candidates for our portfolios.
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Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, owns shares of Verizon, 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 Heckmann and Ensco plc and has sold shares of SPDR S&P 500 short. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Acme Packet. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.