The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
By James Brumley
NEW YORK (StreetAuthority) -- It's that time of year again, when investment managers are required to disclose their fund's holdings to the SEC, and by extension, to all investors. And for most investment companies and hedge funds, it's a pretty straight-forward process . . . just make a list of all the stocks you own, and how much of them you own.
If you're Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn, however, it's not quite that simple. With Einhorn's willingness to hold short as well as long positions (not to mention his willingness to speak out about them) in the $7 billion hedge fund, it's a bit of a process to truly figure out what he's thinking, or trading.On the other hand, considering his fund has returned an average of 21% per year for the past 15 years, sifting through the data is worth the effort.
What Einhorn LikesOf course, closed trades are history and don't offer investors any new specific coattails to ride. The best clues traders can glean from Greenlight's exits last quarter are to look at what he bought. There were only three new positions added in the first quarter, in addition to only three existing trades that were bolstered. Einhorn increased his stake in information services firm DST Systems (DST)) by 39% to a total position of about 1.5 million shares, while the fund's stake in semiconductor maker Marvell Technology Group (MRVL) and data storage firm Seagate Technology (STX) both saw a very modest amount of new money thrown in -- nothing noteworthy on either front. As for the brand new positions, eyebrows may have been raised, but he may well be on to something good. The biggest addition was the 1-million-share, $33 million position in online travel booking site Expedia (EXPE). In retrospect, it was a brilliant a trade. The stock jumped from $32.63 to $40.30 on April 27 after the company handily topped earnings estimates of 16 cents per share by posting a gain of 26 cents. Clearly it was a nice call, but given Einhorn's active nature, odds are decent that he's already aiming to lock in the 25% gain.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV