Activist Hedge Fund Moves Into Netflix, Gold

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Barry Rosenstein, founder of Jana Partners, is best known as an activist investor. The hedge fund manager made intriguing moves in the fourth quarter, buying more shares of Apple ( AAPL) and making an outsized bet on Marathon Petroleum ( MPC).

In his role as an activist investor, Rosenstein has most recently targeted McGraw-Hill ( MHP), the owner of Standard & Poor's. Jana Partners previously initiated a stake in the company and hoped to break it up to unlock value. In September, McGraw-Hill announced that it would separate into two public companies, notching another victory for Rosenstein.

Barry Rosenstein of Jana Partners hedge fund.

McGraw-Hill has been displaced as the hedge fund's largest position after Rosenstein bought 16.6 million shares of Marathon Petroleum in the fourth quarter. The new position carried a market value of about $553 million and a portfolio weighting of nearly 25%. McGraw-Hill slipped to second place in Rosenstein's portfolio with a weighting of $395 million after the fund sold nearly 1.5 million shares during the quarter.

Rosenstein has made waves as an activist investor in other companies, including El Paso ( EP). Jana Partners was also part of a group that helped thwart a buyout of Charles River Laboratories ( CRL).

Rosenstein slashed his stake in El Paso, selling more than 12 million shares of the company after it rallied on a buyout offer from Kinder Morgan ( KMI). Jana Partners held only 5 million shares of El Paso as of Dec. 31.

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 Securities and Exchange Commission within 45 days of the end of a quarter. Funds aren't required to report short positions betting on declines. Jana Partners ended the fourth quarter with 28 reported holdings with a market value of $2.1 billion.

>>View Jana Partners' Portfolio

Rosenstein's 13 new buys in the fourth quarter span a number of sectors, from energy to technology to gold. In addition to Marathon Petroleum, Jana initiated new stakes in Energizer Holdings ( ENR), SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD), Netflix ( NFLX), TripAdvisor ( TRIP) and Cytec Industries ( CYT), among others.

Jana Partners also added to six positions, including Apple, Expedia ( EXPE) and Rock-Tenn ( RKT). Rosenstein now owns 258,000 shares of Apple.

On the other hand, Jana Partners unloaded its stake in nine companies, including Coca-Cola Enterprises ( CCE), Liberty Global ( LBTYA), Liberty Media ( LMCA) and Covidien ( COV).

Meanwhile, in addition to McGraw-Hill, Rosenstein cut his hedge fund's position in Sunoco ( SUN) and Google ( GOOG), among others.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Robert Holmes.

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