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Soros' Favorite Stocks May Rise Up to 40%

Stocks in this article: DAL AAPL GLD NG EM IOC DNDN

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Billionaire investor George Soros' hedge fund made a big bet on Delta Air Lines (DAL) in the fourth quarter, while keeping gold as its largest holding. Apple (AAPL), maker of the iPad and iPhone, remained a top 10 position.

The fund, which serves wealthy investors, added 11 million shares to its Delta Air stake, bringing it to 14.7 million shares worth about $186 million, Soros Fund Management said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The fund's assets rose about 15% in the fourth quarter, to $7.7 billion, up from $6.7 billion on Sept. 30.

Despite having called gold a "bubble" investment in the past, Soros' fund added to its horde of the yellow metal in the fourth quarter. Gold is often considered a hedge against inflation and protection against a falling dollar. Commodities such as gold tend to be uncorrelated to the movements of stock and bond markets and so may serve as portfolio-diversification tools.

The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), a gold-backed exchange traded fund, remained the largest fund holding at $655 million in the fourth quarter, up by about 25,000 shares over the course of the three months. This year, its value is off 4% after gaining 29% in 2010, when the S&P 500 Index rose 15%.

>>View George Soros' Portfolio

The fund's fifth-largest holding is also pure gold, Novagold Resources (NG), a Canadian gold miner, at a $184 million allocation. The number of shares owned was unchanged in the fourth quarter.

Novagold is a rollercoaster stock, up 317% in 2009, up 133% in 2010, and down 7% this year.

Among the other top 10 holdings of the Soros Fund in order of size are: agricultural products giant Monsanto (MON), U.S. oil and gas exploration firm Plains Exploration and Product (PXP), generic pharmaceuticals maker Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA) and health-care claims manager Emdeon (EM).

The following are three stocks that Soros added to in the fourth quarter:

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