Omega Hedge Fund Dumps Bank Stocks

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman is proving to be as prescient as David Tepper by dumping positions in bank stocks like Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) during the second quarter.

Cooperman's Omega Advisors, based in New York, reported assets of $4.4 billion as of June 30, up from $4.2 billion at the end of the first quarter. Cooperman, who previously headed up Goldman Sachs Asset Management before starting Omega Advisors in 1991, smartly sold out of Bank of America and Citigroup before June 30. Cooperman reduced his weighting in financials by 3.6% during the quarter.
Leon Cooperman, Omega Advisors

Omega Advisors sold 2.5 million shares in Bank of America and 793 million shares of Citigroup before June 30. Since that date, Bank of America had fallen 35% and Citigroup had declined 28% this year. Cooperman also sold completely out of mortgage insurers Radian Group ( RDN) and PMI Group ( PMI).

Similarly, David Tepper's Appaloosa Management hedge fund unloaded Bank of America and Citigroup during the second quarter, according to the fund's latest 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 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.

However, Cooperman wasn't bearish on all financial stocks during the second quarter. Omega Advisors added to positions in SLM Corp. ( SLM), E*Trade Financial ( ETFC), JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) and MetLife ( MET) among others.

Cooperman also turned bearish on big-cap technology stocks, dumping entire stakes in Microsoft ( MSFT), Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) and Qualcomm ( QCOM). In addition, the fund decreased its position in IBM ( IBM).

On the other hand, Omega Advisors added to positions in tech stocks Apple ( AAPL) and Citrix Systems ( CTXS), and established a stake in eBay ( EBAY) during the quarter.

Interestingly, Cooperman was most active in buying health-care and consumer-discretionary stocks. Omega Advisors established or added to positions in Teva Pharmaceuticals ( TEVA), Boston Scientific ( BSX), Cephalon ( CEPH) and UnitedHealth Group ( UNH) during the second quarter.

Among consumer-discretionary names, Cooperman bought shares of General Motors ( GM), Discovery Communications ( DISCA), Time Warner ( TWX), Lowe's ( LOW), Hasbro ( HAS) and Best Buy ( BBY).

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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

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