A look at how some of the top investors, hedge funds spent the second quarter
Warren Buffett wasn’t the only high-profile investor revealing notable second-quarter investments on Thursday. While Berkshire Hathaway, the investment vehicle of the “Oracle of Omaha,” revealed that it purchased 2.3 million shares of Charter Communications in its latest quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, several big-time hedge fund managers also offered a quarterly look into their own portfolios.
Carl Icahn: The activist investor disclosed on Thursday that he bought roughly 2.7 million shares of Gannett (GCI), the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, during the second quarter. In a separate filing with the SEC, Icahn said he now owns a total of almost 15 million Gannett shares, or about 6.6%. The filing said Icahn bought the shares “in the belief that they were undervalued and that value could be created by splitting [Gannett] into separate print and broadcast companies.” The publisher has bolstered its broadcast holdings in recent years, including with last year’s $2.2 billion purchase of television station operator Belo, and it announced earlier this week that it plans to split off its print and broadcast arms.
Gannett’s shares were up almost 5% in after-hours trading following the disclosure of Icahn’s investment.
Icahn also revealed that he bought more than 45 million Apple (AAPL) shares during the second quarter, increasing his holdings in the tech giant from about 7.5 million shares to roughly 52.8 million. Icahn also shed about 480,000 shares of Netflix (NFLX) last quarter, bringing his holdings in the company down to nearly 1.8 million shares.
Leon Cooperman: Icahn wasn’t the only investor to pick up some shiny new Apple last quarter, as Omega Advisors CEO Leon Cooperman bought up almost 1.3 million shares of the company. Cooperman also ended June with more than 5 million shares of private equity firm KKR (KKR) and no longer seems to have a stake in KKR subsidiary KKR Financial Holdings, in which he held more than 13.6 million shares at the end of the first quarter. Cooperman also sold about 3.5 million shares in Sprint (S), bringing his total holdings in the telecom to just under 40 million shares, and he took 5.2 million additional shares in grocery chain Supervalu (SVU).
The investor also bought more than one million shares in SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) during the second quarter, which he may be regretting after the aquatic theme park’s shares plummeted almost 33% in the past week due to negative publicity from protests of the company’s treatment of orcas.
Pershing Square Capital Management: The quarterly filing from activist investor Bill Ackman’s hedge fund reflects Pershing Square’s purchase of more than 28 million shares of Botox-maker Allergan (AGN), which gave the fund a 9.7% stake in the company. Of course, Ackman has waged a very public battle, teaming with Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX), to buy Allergan, resulting in Allergan filing a lawsuit against the hostile bidders and, now, the SEC is reportedly investigating the legality of the Ackman-Valeant bid.
Pershing Square also dropped a few investments in the second quarter, selling off nearly 11.7 million shares of spirits company Beam, which sold to Japan’s Suntory earlier this year, as well as roughly 3.7 million shares of apartment building operator Apartment Investment & Management. The hedge fund also unloaded about 473,000 shares of real estate investment trust Home Properties.
Third Point: The hedge fund run by Daniel Loeb disclosed Thursday that it bought more than 45 million shares of Ally Financial (ALLY) during the second quarter, giving Third Point a 9.5% stake in the auto lender. The fund also acquired 7.25 million shares of cloud computing company Rackspace Hosting, a stake worth $244 million as of June 30, the company said. Rackspace (RAX) shares were up more than 4% at closing on Thursday following Third Point’s disclosure.
Loeb’s fund also dumped a small stake in Google (GOOG) (about 210,000 shares) and exited its stake in Verizon Communications (VZN), selling 3.5 million shares.