5 Market Heavyweights' Recent Picks

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Want to invest like Warren Buffett, trade like George Soros? Look no further than their latest quarterly disclosures.

Of course, these disclosures come 45 days following the end of the quarter and represent only a partial picture of these secretive traders' actual investments. But, in a volatile market that seems to swing against you at every turn, it helps to know in which direction the smart money is headed.
Traders

Buy and hold investors may want to follow Buffett's picks, while traders want to know where a big fish like Soros has been swimming. Those looking to go contrarian might wish to follow Paulson's buys and sells, while performance chasers might hope to duplicate Tepper's success.

Here is a roundup of the changes your favorite market heavyweights have made to their portfolios lately based off their most recent regulatory filings.

Warren Buffett

Notable Buys: Buffett made no fresh buys, but stepped up exposure to Wells Fargo ( WFC), buying another 6.2 million shares.

Notable Sells: Bank of America ( BAC), Nike ( NKE), Fiserv ( FIS), Nestle ( NSRGY), Nalco ( NLC), Lowe's ( LOW), Becton Dickinson ( BEC), Comcast ( CMCSA). He also reduced holdings in Bank of New York Mellon ( BK) and Moody's ( MCO).

Top Five Equity Holdings: Coca Cola ( KO), Wells Fargo, American Express ( AXP), Procter & Gamble ( PG) and Kraft Foods ( KFT)

Legendary investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK-B) made quite a few exits during the fourth quarter.

Buffett might have had an even bigger hand than usual in the latest changes to the portfolio, as one of his top investment managers, Lou Simpson, retired last year. That makes the exits from stocks like Bank of America and other companies more significant.

Buffett also seems to have changed his views on some of his more recent investments. He reduced his exposure to Bank of New York Mellon, which he added to the portfolio in the third quarter. He also sold Fiserv, a solutions provider to the financial services industry, that Berkshire bought only two quarters prior to the last one.

In October, Buffett announced the appointment of Todd Combs, a little-known hedge fund manager, to help run a significant portion of the investment portfolio at Berkshire Hathaway. Combs has been heading Castle Point Equity, a Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund with total assets under management of about $280 million, much smaller than Berkshire's nearly $50 billion portfolio.

Buffett has said he will split his roles of head of investments and operations among more than one successor.

>>View Warren Buffett's Portfolio

George Soros

Notable Buys: Best Buy ( BBY), General Motors ( GM), Aeroflex ( ARX), Petrobras ( PBR) and Greenbrier ( GBX) were among the top buys by market value. The fund also increased exposure to Delta Airlines ( DAL), Dendreon ( DNDN), SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD), InterOil ( IOC) and Citigroup ( C) among others.

Notable Sells: Allied Nevada ( ANV), Dow Chemical ( DOW), Baidu ( BIDU), Cooper Tire ( CTB) and First Solar ( FSLR) were among the top sells.

The fund also pared exposure to Weatherford International ( WFT), Monsanto ( MON), Popular ( BPOP), Massey Energy ( MEE), Plains Exploration ( PEXP) as well as Dow heavyweights Verizon ( VZ), Pfizer ( PFE) and AT&T ( T).

Top Five Equity Holdings: SPDR Gold Trust, InterOil, Monsanto, Delta Airlines and Novagold Resources ( NG)

Soros Fund Management is clearly bullish on Delta Airlines, with its stake in the company jumping from 0.9% in September to 3.3% in December 2010. The stock now falls within its top five holdings of the fund.

Soros Fund Management may bear the name of George Soros, but the legendary trader denies having an active role in the management of the fund.

Ever since he called gold the "ultimate bubble" earlier this year, investors have been waiting for Soros to burst it for them by selling out his large stake in the largest gold exchange traded fund SPDR Gold Trust. But the fund continues to add to its exposure to the world's largest ETF and it remains the topmost holding in the portfolio. In the third quarter, the hedge fund reduced some of its exposure to SPDR Gold but added to its holdings in iShares Gold Trust ( IAU).

>>View George Soros' Portfolio

John Paulson

Notable Buys: Transocean ( RIG), Blackrock ( BLK), DelMonte Foods ( DLM), Medtronic ( MDT), Whirlpool ( WHR) and King Pharmaceuticals ( KG) were among the prominent buys ranked by market value of purchases. Paulson also enhanced exposure to Anadarko Petroleum ( APC), Genzyme ( GENZ), SunTrust ( STI), Wells Fargo ( WFC), Alcon ( ACL), Capital One Financial ( COF) and McAfee ( MFE) among others.

Notable Sells: Aon Hewitt ( AON), GenOn Energy ( GEN) and Burger King, which was taken private last year. The fund also cut stakes in Boston Scientific ( BSX), Kinross Gold ( KGC), Airgas ( ARG), AngloGold Ashanti ( AU) and among the large banks, Bank of America and Citigroup.

Top Five Equity Holdings: SPDR Gold Trust, AngloGold Ashanti, Citigroup, Bank of America and Anadarko Petroleum.

John Paulson's Paulson & Co has had a testing time in the first half of 2010, but staged an incredible turnaround in the second half. His big bet on equities and gold paid off with the Fed's quantitative easing move driving a simultaneous rally in both asset classes.

The hedge fund titan became famous for his $15 billion bet against sub-prime mortgages in 2007. In 2008, he made money shorting bank stocks and in 2009, he switched sides, making large bets on the nation's big banks, scooping them up at low valuations.

In recent quarters, Paulson's picks have shown a bias towards companies in the M&A radar, evident in his pick of DelMonte Foods, which is being taken private by private equity firm KKR and King Pharma, which just completed its sale to Pfizer. He continued to hold on to Genzyme, which is said to be nearing a deal with Sanofi Aventis ( SNY) after prolonged discussions and likely benefited from the Burger King private equity deal.

>>View John Paulson's Portfolio

Carl Icahn

(Editors note: This report is based on the combined reports of Icahn Capital L.P and Icahn Associates Corp. Both funds associated with Icahn filed 13Fs for the fourth quarter).

Notable Buys:Except for a tiny addition of 9,326 shares valued at about $500,000 of Navistar International ( NAV), there were no fresh purchases reported by Icahn Capital. The fund however increased its positions in Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), Motorola Solutions ( MSI), Enzon Pharmaceutical ( ENZN), Commercial Metals ( CMC), Hain Celestial ( HAIN), Lawson Software ( LWSN) and Amylin Pharmaceuticals ( AMLN).

Notable Sells: The fund did not exit any of its holdings. It did reduce exposure to Cadence Design ( CDNS) and Masco ( MAS).

Top Five Equity Holdings: Icahn Enterprises ( IEP), Federal Mogul ( FEMOW.PK), Motorola Solutions ( MSI), Motorola Mobility ( MMI) and Chesapeake Energy.


Carl Icahn's big bet on Motorola finally paid off, with the mobile maker spinning off into Motorola Solutions ( MSI) and Motorola Mobility ( MMI). Icahn was so bullish on Motorola that he even bought an additional 17.6 million shares of the original entity ahead of the spin off in the fourth quarter.

Shareholders of Motorola received one share of Motorola Mobility for every eight shares held. Motorola Solutions then underwent a reverse 1 to 7 stock split after the spin-off. That leaves Icahn with about 38.2 million shares of Motorola Solutions and 33.5 million shares of Motorola Mobility, going by the fund's consolidated holdings as of December 31.

The fund also ramped up exposure to Chesapeake by 56%. Positions in Enzon Pharma and Commercial Metals were hiked by 67% and 50% respectively.

>>View Carl Icahn's Portfolio

David Tepper

Notable Buys: Micron Technology ( MU), Dean Foods ( DF), General Motors, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), Manitowoc ( MTW), Kroger ( KR), Safeway ( SWY) and SuperValu ( SVU). Tepper also increased positions in Citigroup, International Paper ( IP), Microsoft ( MSFT), Applied Materials ( AMAT), Wells Fargo and Lam Research ( LRCX) among others.

Notable Sells: WellPoint ( WLP), Covidien ( COV), Becton Dickinson ( BEC), Cigna ( CI), CNO Financial ( CNO), Dana Holdings ( DAN).

The fund also cut holdings in Willis Group ( WSH), Capital One Financial ( COF), BB&T ( BBT), Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB), Yahoo! ( YHOO) and Newcastle Investment ( NCT).

Top Five Equity Holdings: Citigroup, Bank of America, Pfizer, Hewlett Packard ( HPQ) and Wells Fargo.

David Tepper set markets on fire in September, sparking what came to be known as the "Tepper rally", when he said that stocks had no way to go but up as the Federal Reserve would without a doubt launch another round of quantitative easing.

Tepper remained bullish on tech and financials in the fourth quarter. Interestingly, his holdings in Cisco ( CSCO), which was among his top buys in the third quarter, remain unchanged. Cisco has since his first purchase in the September quarter issued disappointing guidance for two straight quarters.

Tepper appears to have cut his holdings in healthcare, specifically the insurance players, quite significantly. The other interesting change to his portfolio is the addition of food retailers, possibly a play on the theme of rising food prices.

>>View David Tepper's Portfolio

-- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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