Value Investors, Meet John Paulson’s New Stock Positions

May 15, 2013 by Jon C. Ogg

John Paulson made a fortune during and after the recession, but he and his investors have not been as successful since (to say the least). Paulson has been taking some licks on gold but investors still look to see what he has been up to. His March 31, 2013 holdings under Paulson & Co. Inc. were valued at $17.7 billion versus $16.26 billion at the end of 2012.

We saw new positions taken in Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) of 1 million shares and in Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES) at 2.7 million shares. Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) was a new stake and that was put at 5 million shares.

Some 2.8 million shares were also seen in Vodafone Group PLC (NASDAQ: VOD) which is likely an arbitrage play of sorts in a Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) deal over Verizon Wireless. Paulson also has a merger-arb piece left over in H. J. Heinz Company (NYSE: HNZ) with a stake of 1 million shares.

Cobalt International Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CIE) was a new position, but this was put at about $80 million in shares and in debt securities combined. InterOil Corporation (NYSE: IOC) was a new stake of 1.87 million shares.

MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE: MTG) was a new stake of 17 million shares which has since risen in value, but there was an additional $152 million in debt securities held there.

Paulson’s position in the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD) was listed as 21,837,552 shares worth some $3.37 billion as of March 31. That compares to a December 31, 2012 value of $3.538 billion. Based upon the closing price of $134.63 on Wednesday, that value would be down to $2.94 billion as of now.

Some of these positions were higher in the after-hours from the report. With Paulson under much more criticism than praise of late, you have to wonder if the cynical view of shorting Paulson’s picks may start to take shape. Just keep in mind that Paulson’s losses in gold might not mean that he makes bad decisions elsewhere and indefinitely.

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