10 Stocks Billionaire Steven Cohen Is Buying

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Steven Cohen's SAC Capital, known for its trading-oriented style to investing, made big bets in the first quarter while adding to key positions in Newmont Mining ( NEM) and communications company CenturyLink ( CTL).

Cohen's Stamford, Conn.-based hedge fund firm, which counted more than 1,500 equity holdings valued at $13 billion at the end of March, was founded in 1992 and has generated average annual returns of about 30%, according to The Wall Street Journal. As the largest investor in his own funds, Cohen routinely earns more than $1 billion a year. Some of his biggest bets last year were in pharmaceutical stocks Alcon and Genzyme. Both companies were acquired by Novartis ( NVS) and Sanofi-Aventis ( SNY), respectively, earlier this year.
Steven A. Cohen (SAC Capital)

At the end of the first quarter, SAC Capital counted Genzyme, Dendreon ( DNDN) and Newmont Mining as its top holdings, each position with a market value of at least $251 million. Other big positions include Express Scripts ( ESRX), Weight Watchers ( WTW) and Murphy Oil ( MUR).

Cohen's moves will be closely watched as he has been at the center of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission involving insider trading. In November, SAC Capital reportedly issued a letter to investors saying it received an "extraordinarily broad" government subpoena. Earlier this year, two former SAC Capital employees pleaded guilty to insider-trading charges that occurred while they were working for Cohen's firm.

During an appearance last week at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference in Las Vegas, which took place hours after former hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam was found guilty of insider trading, Cohen said his firm is cooperating with the regulatory probe and that compliance at his firm is strong.

And despite the threat from regulators, Cohen is sticking with investing. He told the audience at the conference that he won't stop rapid-fire trading as he sees many global opportunities. Cohen also said he personally oversees about 10% of the hedge fund's assets, and that he has moved into more macro strategies, including trading in commodities and currencies.

>>View SAC Capital's Portfolio

But at its core, SAC Capital is a long-short equity firm, and it continued to trade heavily in equities during the first quarter. Overall, SAC Capital reported holdings in 1,792 securities as of March 31, 481 of which were new positions. The firm increased its ownership in 717 securities and decreased positions in 590.

Hedge funds that manage more than $100 million are required to disclose their equity holdings, options and convertible debt on a Form 13F filed to the SEC within 45 days of the end of a quarter. Funds aren't required to report short positions betting on declines.

The most recent filing showed that Cohen sold completely out of positions in 389 stocks, including Omnicare ( OCR) and Temple-Inland ( TIN).

New holdings, though, have market values of more than $12 million, making them among Cohen's biggest and newest bets in 2011. The following pages detail SAC Capital's 10 largest new positions in the first quarter, ranked by market value as of March 31.


10. Tenaris ( TS)

Company Profile: Tenaris makes seamless steel-pipe products, including casing, tubing and line pipe used in the energy and industrial industries.

Cohen's Investment: SAC Capital established a new position in Tenaris by buying up 262,000 shares of the company, which had a market value of roughly $13 million as of March 31.

Tenaris shares are down 2% this year, but are up more than 10% since March 17. In May, the Luxembourg-based company said revenue climbed 42% in the first quarter to $2.32 billion, although net income of $324 million was below Wall Street's expectations.

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9. Caterpillar ( CAT)

Company Profile: Caterpillar produces and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.

Cohen's Investment: SAC Capital bought 156,000 shares of the industrial giant during the first quarter, a position that carried a market value of $17 million as of March 31.

Caterpillar shares are up more than 13% this year. In late April, the company reported blowout first-quarter earnings results, rising to a record high of $116.25. However, the stock has pared gains recently and trades for $106.09 currently.


8. Titan International ( TWI)

Company Profile: Titan International manufactures both wheels and tires for original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket customers in the agricultural, earthmoving and construction and consumer markets.

Cohen's Investment: SAC Capital purchased 742,000 shares of Titan International during the quarter, worth almost $20 million as of March 31.

Titan International shares have easily outpaced the broader market this year, rallying more than 40%. In April, Titan acquired Goodyear's European and Latin American farm tire businesses for nearly $100 million. Later in the month, the company reported a first-quarter loss of $3 million, even as revenue surged 43% to $280 million. Excluding special items, Titan would have earned $18.7 million in the quarter.

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7. Kinder Morgan ( KMI)

Company Profile: Kinder Morgan is pipeline transportation and energy storage company, and it owns the general partner interest of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP). The company's pipelines transport products like natural gas, gasoline, and crude oil, and its terminals handle products like ethanol and coal.

Cohen's Investment: SAC Capital bought up 762,000 shares of Kinder Morgan during the first quarter, worth nearly $23 million as of March 31.

Kinder Morgan held its initial public offering in February, offering of 95.5 million shares at $30 per share. The stock now trades around $27.50. In late April, Kinder Morgan announced plans to invest $166 million to build a 400-mile natural gas pipeline network in Texas.


6. Staples ( SPLS)

Company Profile: Staples is the retailer of office products in 26 countries worldwide.

Cohen's Investment: SAC Capital purchased 1.4 million shares of the retailer during the first quarter, which carried a market value of $27.5 million as of March 31.

Perhaps Cohen views Staples as a value play, as the stock is down more than 12% this year even as the S&P 500 has climbed more than 5%. In March, Staples raised its dividend by 11%; the stock now yields 2%. That same month, the Framingham, Mass.-based company said it earned $274.7 million in the first quarter, an increase of 17% over the year-ago period.

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5. PPL Corp. ( PPL)

Company Profile: PPL is an energy and utility holding company. Through its subsidiaries, PPL generates electricity from power plants in the northeastern and western U.S. The company delivers electricity to customers in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee and the U.K. It also delivers natural gas to customers in Kentucky.

Cohen's Investment: The firm bought 1.1 million shares of PPL during the first quarter, a position that had a market value of $28 million as of March 31.

Shares of PPL are up more than 5% this year and more than 13% since mid March, shortly after the Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Investors have liked PPL for its generous dividend. The stock currently yields 5%.


4. Swift Transportation ( SWFT)

Company Profile: Swift Transportation offers transportation services that include dry van, dedicated, temperature controlled, cross border, and port drayage operations.

Cohen's Investment: SAC Capital bought up 2.6 million shares of Swift Transportation during the first quarter, which carried a market value of $38 million as of March 31.

Swift Transportation, which was taken private by founder Jerry Moyes in 2007, went public again in December 2010 after the company offered 73.3 million shares priced at $11. Previously, Swift was expected to offer shares in a range of $13 to $15. Shares of Swift Transportation are up more than 5% this year to $13.22.

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3. Hubbell ( HUB.B)

Company Profile: Hubbell manufactures electrical and electronic products for construction, industrial and utility applications.

Cohen's Investment: SAC Capital purchased 620,000 shares of Hubbell during the first quarter, which had a market value of $44 million as of March 31.

Shares of Hubbell are up nearly 10% this year. In April, the company reported first-quarter revenue of $658.1 million, an increase of 15% from the year-ago period, with net income rising to $50.3 million from $38.6 million in the first quarter of 2010.


2. HCA Holdings ( HCA)

Company Profile: HCA Holdings is the largest private hospital company in the U.S.

Cohen's Investment: SAC Capital snatched up 1.4 million shares of HCA Holdings during the first quarter, a position that had a market value of $48 million as of March 31.

HCA Holdings, which was acquired by an investor group in 2006, went public in March in a $3.8 billion initial public offering. HCA offered more than 126 million shares priced at $30. The stock currently trades for $34.25.

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1. Ace Limited ( ACE)

Company Profile: Ace Limited is the Zurich-based global insurance and reinsurance company.

Cohen's Investment: SAC Capital purchased nearly 2 million shares of Ace Limited during the first quarter, carrying a market value of $124 million as of March 31.

Shares of Ace are up 8% this year, trading near its 52-week high of $68.73. Despite the catastrophes in Japan and New Zealand, analysts say the stock should rise as the company benefits from resulting price increases in the property-catastrophe reinsurance market.

>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 10 Stocks Billionaire Steven Cohen Is Buying portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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