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5 Hedge Funds' Top Stocks Soar After 2011 Rout (Update 2)

 

Steven A. Cohen
 

SAC Capital Advisors, the $12 billion hedge fund run by billionaire Steven Cohen, has its sights set on two companies, upscale clothing retailer American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) and coffee purveyor Peet's Coffee & Tea (PEET).

In two 13G filings in January, SAC disclosed two huge investment increases in each firm since the end of the third quarter.

SAC Capital Advisors now owns 9.5 million shares of American Eagle, or 4.9% of its shares, the bulk of that bought in the fourth quarter.

American Eagle's shares are down 9% this year, but have a three-year average annual return of 16%. Its stores are one of the most frequently shopped brands in the teen retailing space and posted strong holiday sales.

And SAC now owns 740,074 shares, or 5.7%, of Peet's, according to the January filing, a huge increase since the end of the third quarter.

Cohen must love coffee, as his fund previously was a big shareholder in Peet's top competitor, the aforementioned Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, but has since sharply reduced its stake or eliminated it.

Peet's shares are up 10% this year and have a three-year average annual return of 48%. The company is a specialty coffee roaster and retailer, with more than 110 coffee shops in seven states.

Peet's shares hit a 52-week high last Friday after a Baird analyst lifted his rating to "outperform" from "neutral," saying he expects fast earnings growth starting later in 2012.

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