Stockpickr: Soros Shuffles His Stock Picks

He ups his tech holdings, and frets about the economy.
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Last week, George Soros' fund made a new filing with the

Securities and Exchange

that details all of the transactions it made in the last quarter of 2006. Soros has been very busy, with 10 new positions and more than two dozen positions that he either exited or reduced through sales.

The

George Soros page on Stockpickr

summarizes his new portfolio, noting all of his recent transactions and his top new positions.

Soros' biggest position now is

Companhia Vale Do Rio Doce

(RIO) - Get Report

, which, because he increased it more than 1,400% since the prior quarter's filing, now accounts for 9.6% of his portfolio.

The Brazilian company produces, exports and supplies iron ore and pellets to the steel-making industry. Additionally, it produces and sells many other metals, including nickel, gold, copper and aluminum.

CVRD is the ultimate "BRIC" (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and commodities play. If you believe in a weaker dollar and a weaker U.S. in general, as Soros clearly does, then CVRD is your bet. According to analysts covering the company, CVRD has a forward price-to-earnings, or P/E, ratio of just 9. Analysts expect earnings per share to rise from $2.10 in 2005 to $3 in 2006 and to $4 in 2007.

Another super hedge fund that owns CVRD is Moore Capital, which has more than $10 billion in assets and is run by famed trader Louis Bacon. Its flagship fund has been up 24% per year since its inception in 1990. Bacon takes a global macro approach to investing, having started his career trading for the likes of Paul Tudor Jones and Bruce Kovner of Caxton Associates. For the rest of its top holdings, check out

Moore Capital's portfolio on Stockpickr

.

Soros' second-largest holding is

International Rectifier

(IRF)

, a new position since his last filing. IRF makes up 4.8% of Soros' portfolio.

Soros is a believer in global warming and is placing his bets on several companies that are developing cleaner energy alternatives. IRF makes products ranging from integrated circuits, power components and power systems that are used in power-management devices.

On Jan. 25, the company announced that its second-quarter profit jumped higher than Wall Street expected, earning 58 cents a share when analysts were expecting 54 cents. The day after earnings, Nollenberger Capital Partners put out a buy rating, stating, "We believe IRF is the play on the trend for energy efficiency." Despite 200% year-over-year earnings growth, the company trades at a forward P/E of just 16.

Two other funds that own IRF are

Chris Davis

of the Davis Funds and the

Powershares Clean Energy ETF

.

Soros has also been making bets in the big oil-exploration companies, such as

GlobalSantaFe

(GSF)

and

Transocean

(RIG) - Get Report

. GlobalSantaFe,

as I've written before, is also owned by

T. Boone Pickens

. Pickens is a believer in the peak-oil theory -- the idea that the planet is slowly running out of oil. His investments all stem from that core philosophy.

Also noteworthy are Soros' new technology investments. He is making the bet now that telecom equipment providers are going to be on the move up. New investments include

TriQuint Semiconductor

(TQNT)

and

Ciena

(CIEN) - Get Report

. TriQuint, despite being a former tech highflier, finds itself now on the

Low Price Value Line System

, a portfolio of stocks that Value Line rates 1 or 2 and that trade for less than $10.

To see the rest of Soros' new picks, plus the stocks he recently sold out of, check out

Soros' portfolio

on Stockpickr.

Stockpickr Tip of the Day:

In addition to Soros, I also like to keep track of former Soros protege Michael Karsch, who runs

Karsch Capital

. Karsch was a managing director at Soros Fund Management, where he was primarily responsible for investing in value stocks for the Quantum Fund.

Karsch recently updated his holdings, and he, too, is investing heavily in tech, greatly increasing his positions in companies such as

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

,

Applied Micro Circuits

(AMCC)

and

Integrated Device Technology

(IDTI) - Get Report

. Karsch is also not afraid to go activist. He's currently waging a fight against the board at

CSK Auto

(CAO)

.

At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

James Altucher is a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs several quantitative-based hedge funds as well as a fund of hedge funds. He is also the author of

Trade Like a Hedge Fund

and

Trade Like Warren Buffett

. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback;

click here

to send him an email.

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