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Another name that Baupost added onto last quarter was
BP (BP - Get Report), the London-based energy firm. Klarman's hedge fund picked up 4.14 million shares of the company, increasing the fund's stake in the firm by more than 40%.
BP is finally starting to shake off the after effects of the Macondo oil spill, an event that's going to linger on BP's balance sheet in the form of obligations long after most of the public has forgotten about it. But normalcy is returning for BP in 2012. The firm generates significant cash, wherewithal that BP has been using to fuel a hefty 4.5% dividend yield right now. The firm popped to substantial profits for 2011, a good sign that the setbacks are behind it.
In a market with triple-digit oil prices, BP is better aligned to benefit than most other supermajors. After all, its energy assets are more than 60% oil, versus the nearly even split between oil and gas that others have been shooting for. While many analysts have argued that high oil prices could lead to substitution and a price hike in natural gas (an analysis that I subscribe to), those oil prices need to stay high for that scenario to pan out. Either way, then, oil-rich firms like BP stand to benefit.
With a big black eye on the firm following Macondo, I think that BP makes for one of the most interesting supermajor plays for 2012.
To see the rest of Seth Klarman's plays - including a complete list of which stocks he added or sold off, check out the
Seth Klarman - Baupost Group Portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.