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Updated to correct acquisitions of new financial stocks. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said Paulson acquired 24.5 million shares of CNO Financial Group. The fund's holdings in CNO, formerly named Conseco Inc., remained unchanged.



) -- Paulson & Co. got bearish on big banking names during the third quarter, but plunged money into a couple of smaller regional stocks and an insurer, according to the latest 13f filings with the

Securities and Exchange Commission


Paulson sold 82.7 million shares of



, 30 million shares of

Bank of America


, two million shares of both

JPMorgan Chase



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and one million shares of



. The fund exited its position in

Goldman Sachs


, selling the 1.1 million shares it held at the end of the second quarter.

On the flip side, the giant hedge fund acquired 122,882 shares of Memphis-based regional bank

First Horizon


and 333,340 shares of San Juan, Puerto Rico-based




All told, Paulson sold $1.1 billion worth of common stock in those six large banks while increasing holdings of the other two by $16.7 million.

The Paulson fund is run by legendary hedge fund manager John Paulson, who made billions betting against subprime housing in 2008. He and other high-profile fund managers also made a good deal of profit buying financial stocks when they were severely depressed last year.

Other notable changes to the Paulson portfolio during the third quarter include its build-up of



holdings by half a million shares to 1.5 million in total and the sale of four million

Family Dollar


shares to two million total as of Sept. 30.

>>View John Paulson's Portfolio

The fund also newly entered several positions. Paulson acquired 13.4 million shares of



, 1.9 million shares of


( GENZ), half a million shares of




The stocks dropped by Paulson include

Devon Energy Group



Casey's General Stores



Smith International

( SII).

Including preferred stock and other securities, the fund's overall holdings declined by nearly $30 million during the three months ended Sept. 30, both by reductions in value and position liquidations.

-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York


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Lauren Tara LaCapra


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