BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Steven Cohen's SAC Capital, known for its trading-oriented style to investing, made big bets in the first quarter while adding to key positions in Newmont Mining (NEM) and communications company CenturyLink (CTL).
Cohen's Stamford, Conn.-based hedge fund firm, which counted more than 1,500 equity holdings valued at $13 billion at the end of March, was founded in 1992 and has generated average annual returns of about 30%, according to The Wall Street Journal. As the largest investor in his own funds, Cohen routinely earns more than $1 billion a year. Some of his biggest bets last year were in pharmaceutical stocks Alcon and Genzyme. Both companies were acquired by Novartis (NVS) and Sanofi-Aventis (SNY), respectively, earlier this year.
|Steven A. Cohen (SAC Capital)|
At the end of the first quarter, SAC Capital counted Genzyme, Dendreon (DNDN) and Newmont Mining as its top holdings, each position with a market value of at least $251 million. Other big positions include Express Scripts (ESRX), Weight Watchers (WTW) and Murphy Oil (MUR).
Cohen's moves will be closely watched as he has been at the center of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission involving insider trading. In November, SAC Capital reportedly issued a letter to investors saying it received an "extraordinarily broad" government subpoena. Earlier this year, two former SAC Capital employees pleaded guilty to insider-trading charges that occurred while they were working for Cohen's firm.During an appearance last week at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference in Las Vegas, which took place hours after former hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam was found guilty of insider trading, Cohen said his firm is cooperating with the regulatory probe and that compliance at his firm is strong. And despite the threat from regulators, Cohen is sticking with investing. He told the audience at the conference that he won't stop rapid-fire trading as he sees many global opportunities. Cohen also said he personally oversees about 10% of the hedge fund's assets, and that he has moved into more macro strategies, including trading in commodities and currencies. >>View SAC Capital's Portfolio But at its core, SAC Capital is a long-short equity firm, and it continued to trade heavily in equities during the first quarter. Overall, SAC Capital reported holdings in 1,792 securities as of March 31, 481 of which were new positions. The firm increased its ownership in 717 securities and decreased positions in 590. Hedge funds that manage more than $100 million are required to disclose their equity holdings, options and convertible debt on a Form 13F filed to the SEC within 45 days of the end of a quarter. Funds aren't required to report short positions betting on declines. The most recent filing showed that Cohen sold completely out of positions in 389 stocks, including Omnicare (OCR) and Temple-Inland (TIN). New holdings, though, have market values of more than $12 million, making them among Cohen's biggest and newest bets in 2011. The following pages detail SAC Capital's 10 largest new positions in the first quarter, ranked by market value as of March 31.
10. Tenaris (TS) Company Profile: Tenaris makes seamless steel-pipe products, including casing, tubing and line pipe used in the energy and industrial industries. Cohen's Investment: SAC Capital established a new position in Tenaris by buying up 262,000 shares of the company, which had a market value of roughly $13 million as of March 31. Tenaris shares are down 2% this year, but are up more than 10% since March 17. In May, the Luxembourg-based company said revenue climbed 42% in the first quarter to $2.32 billion, although net income of $324 million was below Wall Street's expectations.