BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) - Get Report was a popular pick for hedge fund managers to both buy and sell during the first quarter, a period during which the satellite-radio provider's share price rose by only 2 cents.
It's rare for Sirius XM shares to end up little changed during a three-month period. The stock has almost doubled over the past year and, from its bottom a little more than two years ago, the shares have rocketed more than 20-fold.
Betting on Sirius XM Radio has been a boon for even the biggest of hedge fund managers, including Chris Shumway of the now-shuttered
, as well as Steven Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors.
Since the end of the first quarter, Sirius XM shares hit a 52-week high of $2.42. This came shortly after the company announced that net earnings nearly doubled in the first quarter. During the conference call with analysts, Sirius XM Chief Executive Officer Mel Karmazin said the earthquake in Japan affected subscriber growth, but that if no serious issues are encountered by the auto industry, the company may deliver more subscribers this year than it is currently forecasting.
However, the shares recently pulled back sharply after Sirius XM announced a settlement of a lawsuit brought by a subscriber named Carl Blessing, who took offense to an increase in the price for additional-radio subscriptions from $6.99 to $8.99, the institution of a music-royalty fee and the elimination of free streaming Internet service.
While the settlement allowed for Sirius XM to avoid admitting any wrongdoing, Sirius XM said it wouldn't raise rates on its basic programming package through the end of the year. Investors had expected that on July 28, which would represent the three-year anniversary of the merger between Sirius and XM, the company would legally be able raise rates for subscribers according to terms of the takeover.
The recent pullback in shares may provide some investors with an attractive entry point for Sirius XM, even though there were more hedge fund managers selling the stock than buying it during the first quarter. Overall, there were 24 hedge funds that purchased shares while 24 decreased their positions, according to
. Buyers added more than 27.8 million shares of Sirius XM during the quarter, while other hedge funds dumped more than 79 million shares.
Here are the five prominent hedge fund managers buying and five others selling Sirius XM during the first quarter:
Francisco Alfaro, Miura Global Management
-- The New York-based fund, which uses a long/short equity strategy, purchased 14.6 million shares of Sirius XM. This was a new position for Miura Global.
Steven Cohen, SAC Capital Advisors
-- Cohen's active fund added nearly 7.4 million shares of Sirius XM after taking a small position in the stock during the fourth quarter. Based in Stamford, Conn., SAC Capital owned more than 7.6 million shares of the satellite-radio company as of March 31.
Spencer Waxman, Shannon River Fund Management
-- The New York-based fund bought 1.8 million shares of Sirius XM, representing a new position.
David Shaw, D.E. Shaw & Co.
-- The New York-based hedge fund manager, which ranks second to only Paulson & Co. in terms of total assets, bought 713,281 shares of Sirius XM, bringing the fund's total position to 767,681 shares.
Jonathan Dawson, Dawson Capital Management
-- Based in Southport, Conn., Dawson Capital acquired 674,300 shares of Sirius XM. That upped the fund's share count to more than 1.3 million as of March 31.
John Thaler, JAT Capital Management
-- Thaler, who previously worked for Shumway Capital, sold a whopping 30.7 million shares of Sirius XM, leaving the fund with 7.4 million shares of the satellite-radio company.
Bob Mercer and Peter Brown, Renaissance Technologies
-- The New York-based fund, which employs a quantitative strategy, cut its holding in Sirius XM by 18.1 million shares, finishing the quarter with 7.7 million shares.
Leon Cooperman, Omega Advisors
-- The New York-based fund, started in 1992, sold completely out of its position in Sirius XM, dumping nearly 18 million shares.
Mark Hart, Corriente Advisors
-- The Fort Worth, Texas-based fund also sold out of its position in Sirius XM, selling 2.9 million shares.
Eric Semler, TCS Capital Management
-- The New York-based hedge fund, which tilts its holdings toward media, telecom and Internet stocks, sold out of its position in Sirius XM, unloading more than 1.7 million shares.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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