Hedge Fund Tracking: Caxton Associates 13F Filing (Bruce Kovner) ~ market folly

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hedge Fund Tracking: Caxton Associates 13F Filing (Bruce Kovner)

(Note: Before reading this update, make sure you check out the preface to the series I'm doing on Hedge Fund 13F's here).

Time to continue the Hedge Fund tracking series! If you've missed them, I've already covered Jeffrey Gendell's Tontine Partners here, Bret Barakett's Tremblant Capital here, Peter Thiel's Clarium Capital here, Stephen Mandel's Lone Pine Capital here, Lee Ainslie's Maverick Capital here, John Griffin's Blue Ridge Capital here, Boone Pickens' BP Capital here, Louis Bacon's Moore Capital Management here, and Paul Tudor Jones' Tudor Investment Corp here. This week, I'm taking a slightly different approach to the hedge fund tracking series. I'm doing so because the 13F SEC filings are filed on a quarterly basis, so these materials are time sensitive and the next ones are due out in November. I stated in my series preface that you need to treat these as a lagging indicator, because that's what they are. The holdings discussed below reflect portfolio holdings as of June 30th, 2008. So, since these forms are so tedious to sort through, I've condensed the rest of the hedge funds I track to summarize their major moves and top holdings.

Additionally, the majority of the rest of the funds I follow are macro funds. And, since 13F filings only detail equity holdings, we're left with a bit of a problem. Macro funds typically employ strategies that encompass many financial markets. Be it commodities, currency, futures, foreign markets.... you name it. So, these funds are much harder to track. Since they are not required to disclose positions held in those markets, we only get to see their equity holdings. But, at the same time, I still find the information useful because many of these funds have numerous large equity positions which give you a broad sense as to what their strategies may be.

So, next in the macro hedge fund tracking series we have Caxton Associates, ran by Bruce Kovner. Taken from Wikipedia, Kovner's bio is as follows: "Kovner's first trade was for $3,000, borrowed against his MasterCard, in soybean futures contracts. Realizing growth to $40,000, he then watched the contract drop to $23,000 before selling. He later claimed that this first, nerve-racking trade taught him the importance of risk management. In his eventual role as a trader under the legendary Michael Marcus at Commodities Corporation (now part of Goldman Sachs), he purportedly made millions and gained widespread respect as an objective and sober trader. This ultimately led to the establishment of his current company, Caxton Associates, in 1983, which today manages over $10 billion in capital and has been closed to new investors since 1992." Year-to-date, Caxton Associates was up 5% as of a few weeks ago, as I wrote in my hedge fund year-to-date performance update.

If you want to hear some insightful thoughts from Bruce Kovner himself, head over to my post on Hedge Fund manager interviews. So, now that we've got a background on Kovner and Caxton Associates, let's take a quick look at his portfolio highlights. Keep in mind that this is merely a brief summary of Caxton's top holdings. Due to the time sensitive nature of the 13F material, I wanted to get this information posted before the next set of filings come out in November.

Top 20 Holdings by % of portfolio
1. Compania Cervecerias Unidas (CCU) - Increased position by 72934%, from 25,000 shares to 18,233,668 shares
2. Electronic Data Systems (EDS) - New Position
3. Activision (ATVI) - New Position
4. Monsanto (MON) - Increased position by 41 %
5. Rockwood Holdings (ROC) - Increased position by 68.8%
6. W-H Energy Services (WHQ) - Increased stake by 195%
7. Occidental (OXY) - Increased stake by 65%
8. ChoicePoint (CPS) - Decreased position by <>
9. DirecTV (DTV) - Decreased stake by 25%
10. W.R. Grace (GRA) - Boosted stake by 8%
11. Qualcomm (QCOM) - Boosted stake by 44.6%
12. Coca Cola (KO) - Decreased position by 12.5%
13. Rural Cellular (RCCC) - Increased stake by 12.4%
14. Research in Motion (RIMM) - Boosted stake by 8.7%
15. Service Corporation (SCI) - Increased position by 32%
16. Nucor (NUE) - Boosted position by 37%
17. (ANST) - New position
18. XTO (XTO) - Boosted stake by 150%
19. Stewart Enterprises (STEI) - Increased position by 12%
20. Gilead (GILD) - Decreased position by 26.7%

Kovner's Caxton Associates definitely disassociate themselves from the rest of the macro pack when it comes to the equity side of their portfolio. While their portfolio does hold typical energy and technology names often seen in other hedge fund portfolios, they also hold seemingly obscure names that I have yet to see pop up in any other funds I track. So, Kovner and his team may have discovered some diamonds in the rough here. In particular, I want to focus on his top holding: Compania Cervecerias Unidas (CCU). In the quarter prior to the filing, he held just 25,000 shares of this name. Then, over this past quarter, he ratcheted up his holdings in the name big time. He increased his position by 72,934%, bringing it all the way up to his firm's top holding, with a market value of over $642 million at the time of the filing. Needless to say, they bought this name with conviction. And, although I've seen numerous other funds buying up shares of Latin & South American beverage companies, this is the first fund I've seen pick up this name. So, definitely keep an eye on it.

Additionally, I want to point out his holdings in Rocwood Holdings (ROC), W-H Energy Services (WHQ), and Service Corporation (SCI). These are three other names I am seeing for the first time amongst the hedge funds I track. And, he was adding across the board to all three names. Caxton added to WHQ the most, increasing their position by 195%.

Now, turning to the 'hedge fund favorite' names that tend to pop up in numerous hedge fund portfolios that I track, we see Caxton holds positions in Qualcomm (QCOM), Research in Motion (RIMM), XTO Energy (XTO), Occidental (OXY), and Gilead (GILD). Caxton was out adding pretty moderately to all these names. OXY and XTO are easily two of the favorite equity energy plays amongst various hedge funds. And, you have to wonder how they affected their portfolio, given the volatile ride energy stocks have seen as of late. Turning to tech, we see that Caxton, like so many other funds, enjoy large positions in both QCOM and RIMM. As I've noted before, QCOM is easily a top five most common equity holding among the hedge funds I track. And, just like energy, technology stocks have been whipsawed around a lot recently. So, although Caxton was out adding this past quarter, we'll have to see if they were still adding to these names come the next 13F filing.

We already knew hedge funds (and macro funds in particular) had a rough July, as I noted here. And, it's easy to see why, with the heavy commodity exposure many of them had. What we don't yet know is how they've rebounded (if at all). Lastly, I just want to re-emphasize that since Caxton is a macro fund, they obviously have the majority of their positions in the commodity, currency, futures, or other markets. But, at the same time, they still have a sizable chunk of money in the equity markets.

Caxton Associates' full 13F filing listing every position can be found at the SEC.

blog comments powered by Disqus