Soros Fund Management Bullish on Petrobras, Suncor & DirecTV: 13F Filing Q1 2010 ~ market folly

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Soros Fund Management Bullish on Petrobras, Suncor & DirecTV: 13F Filing Q1 2010

(This post is part of our series on tracking hedge fund portfolios. If you're unfamiliar with tracking investments they disclose via SEC filings, check out our series preface on hedge fund filings.)

Next up is George Soros' hedge fund firm, Soros Fund Management. While he is still slightly involved, the bulk of the portfolio activity you see below comes from his son Robert Soros who runs the flagship Quantum Endowment. For 2009, Soros' Quantum Endowment Fund was up 28% as noted in our hedge fund performance numbers list. We follow Soros for sector leans due to their global macro tilt. Given that they dabble in pretty much any asset class they please, remember that the equity positions below are only a brief part of a cohesive whole.

George Soros has in the past voiced his concern over the deleveraging of the US consumer as he feels it could hurt consumer spending (and thus growth) in the future. Soros' thoughts from the markets are detailed in his most recent book, The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means. And of course you can receive a primer on all things finance from the man himself in his first book The Alchemy of Finance.

The positions listed below were their long equity, note, and options holdings as of March 31st, 2010 as filed with the SEC. All holdings are common stock unless otherwise denoted:

Brand New Positions
Conexant Systems (CNXT) Notes
Cobalt International Energy (CIE)
iShares Emerging Markets Index (EEM) Puts
PNC Financial (PNC)
Telecom Argentina (TEO)
Covanta (CVA) Notes
Westport Innovations (WPRT) ~ we previously detailed Soros' new stake
Solar Capital (SLRC)
Petrohawk Energy (HK)
JDS Uniphase (JDSU) Notes
RF Micro (RFMD)
Nokia (NOK)
ADC Telecomm (ADCT) Notes
Global Crossing (GLBC) Notes
Dow Chemical (DOW)
Staples (SPLS)
Exco Resources (XCO)
International Paper (IP)
Armstrong World (AWI)

Increased Positions
NovaGold Resources (NG): Increased position size by 435.8% ~ we previously detailed this
DirecTV (DTV): Increased by 27.3%
Suncor Energy (SU): Increased by 22.4%
Cadence Design System (CDNS) Notes: Increased by 20%
Lawson Software (LWSN) Notes: Increased by 19.6%
Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR): Increased by 17.7%
Verizon (VZ): Increased by 16.7%

Reduced Positions
Plains Exploration (PXP): Reduced position size by 24.7%
Monsanto (MON): Reduced by 17.4%
Hess (HES): Reduced by 16.1%
Emdeon (EM): Reduced by 12.2%
SPDR Gold Trust (GLD): Reduced by 9.6%

Positions They Sold Out of Completely
Mcdata (inactive) Notes
CSG Systems International (CSGS) Bonds
Terra Industries (TRA)
Select Sector Financials (XLF) Calls
Bunge (BG)
Coach (COH)
Heinz (HNZ)
Sandridge Energy (SD)
Energy XXI (EXXI)
iShares US Telecom Sector (IYZ)
CVR Energy (CVI)
James River Coal (JRCC)
Mechel (MTL)
Steel Dynamics (STLD)
Denbury Resources (DNR)
Windstream (WIN)
McMoran Exploration (MMR)
Patterson-UTI (PTEN)
Sterling Construction (STRL)
Century Aluminum (CENX)

Top 15 Holdings (by percentage of assets reported on 13F filing)

1. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD): 6.95%
2. Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR): 4.63%

3. Hess (HES): 3.46%
4. Suncor (SU): 3.26%

5. LSI Corp (LSI) Notes: 3.2%

6. Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR-A): 2.66%

7. Monsanto (MON): 2.62%

8. Linear Tech (LLTC) Notes: 2.49%

9. Lawson Software (LWSN) Notes: 2.22%
10. Interoil (IOC): 2.19%
11. RF Microdevices (RFMD) Notes: 2.11%

12. DirecTV (DTV): 2.03%

13. Verizon (VZ): 2.00%

14. Flextronics (FLEX) Notes: 1.98%
15. Plains Exploration (PXP): 1.80%

Firstly, please note that since Soros Fund Management is a global macro oriented firm, they undoubtedly have positions in other markets (debt, currencies, commodities) that are not required to be disclosed by the SEC. As such, the above is only partially representative of Soros' portfolio. That said, you can definitely see some themes via their equity exposure as they are long various oil and agriculture names.

Additionally, they seem to like the satellite play DirecTV (DTV). As we've detailed previously, Chase Coleman's hedge fund Tiger Global is bullish on DTV. It was also interesting to see Soros have a sizable long in Interoil (IOC) as many investment managers and pundits have labeled IOC as a potential fraud. Whitney Tilson's hedge fund T2 Partners has been short IOC under the notion that IOC has no real proven reserves and is essentially just a public relations hype machine. This dichotomy of opinion is what truly makes a market.

Overall, the natural resource and energy theme continues to garner a prominent position in Soros Fund Management's portfolio. Gold is their top holding, followed by large stakes in Petrobras, Hess, Suncor, Monsanto, Interoil, and Plains Exploration. They also show a large addition to NovaGold Resources, but we had already mentioned this position increase back when the transaction took place as both Soros and John Paulson bought shares.

Assets reported on Soros' 13F filing were $8.75 billion this quarter. Data from the SEC is aggregated and sorted automatically by Alphaclone, our source for hedge fund tracking, replicating, and performance backtesting (Market Folly readers can receive a special free 14 day trial). Remember that these filings are not representative of the hedge fund's entire base of AUM.

This post is part of our daily hedge fund portfolio tracking series. We've already detailed activity from numerous managers so click the links below to be taken to the respective portfolio updates: Seth Klarman's Baupost Group, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, Stephen Mandel's Lone Pine Capital, and Bill Ackman's Pershing Square, David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, Eddie Lampert's RBS Partners, David Tepper's Appaloosa Management, Mohnish Pabrai's Investment Fund, John Griffin's Blue Ridge Capital, Lee Ainslie's Maverick Capital, Bruce Berkowitz's Fairholme Capital Management, Andreas Halvorsen's Viking Global, Dan Loeb's Third Point, John Paulson's hedge fund Paulson & Co, Chase Coleman's Tiger Global, Roberto Mignone's Bridger Management, Phil Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners, David Stemerman's Conatus Capital, and Shumway Capital Partners. Be sure to check back daily for new hedge fund updates.

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