Soros was known as "the man who broke the Bank of England". On September 16, 1992 (later on it was known as “Black Wednesday”), Soros's fund sold short more than $10 billion worth of British pounds, betting on the Bank of England's reluctance to either raise its interest rates to levels comparable to those of other European Exchange Rate Mechanism countries or to float its currency. Finally, the Bank of England withdrew the currency from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism and devaluated British Pound. Soros earned an estimated US$ 1.1 billion in the process.
Paulson is famed for having made “the greatest trade ever”, which involves betting against subprime mortgages and then, ultimately, the companies that were backing and insuring them.[/b] They did this by buying CDS contracts, which are basically insurance policies on debt. In 2007 alone he made $15 billion for his firm.
On a typical peaceful day, they buy and sell stocks like the rest of us. GuruFocus tracks their long equity positions through their SEC filings. They are not required to report their short and other exotic positions, so we have simply wait for our chance to read about those when and if the gains (or losses) became so out of proportion that someone will write a book about them.
Talking about their stock holdings, I became curious: what stock ideas do the two greatest traders of our times share?
GuruFocus has this cool tool called “Aggregated Guru Portofolio”. Apply the tool on Soros and Paulson[/url] and I am surprised by how many stocks they own in common: George Soros, through Soros Fund Management, owns $6.87 billion in 687 stocks; John Paulson, $19.5 in 55 stocks. You can click on their names to see the detailed holdings of each.
About half of Paulson’s stocks, a total twenty-seven of them, overlap those of Soros’s stock. It is like Paulson borrowed half of his ideas from Soros. Of course, you know that is now what is happening here. Both men fell in love with Gold stocks and Financials.
For some of stocks, both men simply own the stock for the quarter and there was no trading activity during the last quarter. There are stocks sold by one or both men and there are stock bought by one and sold by another. Listed below are the nine stocks that are owned by both men as of December 31, 2009 and bought by both men during the fourth quarter of 2009:
|KGC||Kinross Gold Corp.||$18.08||41.1||0.6|
|JPM||JPMorgan Chase & Co.||$43.64||19.6||0.5|
|MJN||MEAD JOHNSON NUTRITI||$51.73||23.3||1.5|
|DTV||DIRECTV Group Inc. The||$34.6||24||0|
|APOL||Apollo Group Inc.||$64.63||14.2||0|
A brief review of the companies:
Citigroup Inc. (C)
Citigroup Inc. is the global financial services company. Citigroup Inc. has a market cap of $91.91 billion; its shares were traded at around $4.02 with and P/S ratio of 1. Given the trouble Citigroup has to go through during the crisis, the revelation of ownership of Citigroup by some of the heavy-weight investors such as Soros and Paulson caused quite a bit of sensation in Wall Street as well as among the retailer investors.
Soros bought 94,697,095 shares in the quarter that ended on 12/31/2009, which is 4.51% of the $6.95 billion portfolio of Soros Fund Management LLC.
Paulson owns 506,700,000 shares as of 12/31/2009, an increase of 68.9% from the previous quarter. This position accounts for 8.6% of the $19.49 billion portfolio of Paulson & Co..
Pfizer Inc (PFE)
Pfizer Inc is a research-based, global pharmaceutical company. Pfizer Inc has a market cap of $139.01 billion; its shares were traded at around $17.23 with a P/E ratio of 8.5 and P/S ratio of 2.8. The dividend yield of Pfizer Inc stocks is 4.2%. Pfizer Inc had an annual average earning growth of 11% over the past 10 years.
Soros owns 11,574,340 shares as of 12/31/2009, and John Paulson bought 15,600,000 shares in the quarter.
Kinross Gold Corporation is an entrepreneurial mining company which has become a million-ounce gold producer. Kinross Gold Corp. has a market cap of $12.59 billion; its shares were traded at around $18.08 with a P/E ratio of 41.1 and P/S ratio of 5.3. The dividend yield of Kinross Gold Corp. stocks is 0.6%. Kinross Gold Corp. had an annual average earning growth of 12% over the past 5 years.
Soros bought 2,777,000 shares in the quarter that ended on 12/31/2009, and Paulson owned 31,500,000 shares at quarter end.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is a global financial services firm. Jpmorgan Chase & Co. has a market cap of $173.38 billion; its shares were traded at around $43.64 with a P/E ratio of 19.6 and P/S ratio of 1.7. The dividend yield of Jpmorgan Chase & Co. stocks is 0.5%.
Soros owns 111,900 shares as of 12/31/2009 and Paulson owns 7,000,000 shares.
Liberty Starz Group is a significant operating subsidiary and also a principal reportable segment of Liberty Media Corporation which focuses primarily on video programming, communications businesses, and the direct-to-home satellite distribution business. Lstza has a market cap of $2.54 billion; its shares were traded at around $51.38 with a P/E ratio of 72.4 and P/S ratio of 1.9.
Soros bought 119,990 shares in the quarter that ended on 12/31/2009 and Paulson bought 3,300,000 shares in the quarter.
Mead Johnson Nutrition Company is a pediatric nutrition company. Mead Johnson Nutriti has a market cap of $10.58 billion; its shares were traded at around $51.73 with a P/E ratio of 23.3 and P/S ratio of 3.7. The dividend yield of Mead Johnson Nutriti stocks is 1.5%.
Soros bought 27,000 shares in the quarter that ended on 12/31/2009 and Paulson bought 4,000,000.
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)
Comcast Corp., among the world's communication companies, provides basic cable, digital cable and high speed internet services that connect people to what's important in their lives. Comcast Corp. has a market cap of $50.14 billion; its shares were traded at around $17.67 with a P/E ratio of 15.2 and P/S ratio of 1.4. The dividend yield of Comcast Corp. stocks is 1.5%. Comcast Corp. had an annual average earning growth of 9.6% over the past 10 years.
Soros owns 4,403,550 shares as of 12/31/2009 and Paulson bought 44,000,000 shares in the quarter.
DIRECTV Class A is a provider of digital multichannel television entertainment, broadband satellite networks and services, and global video and data broadcasting in the United States and Latin America. Directv Group Inc. The has a market cap of $31.6 billion; its shares were traded at around $34.6 with a P/E ratio of 24 and P/S ratio of 1.5. Directv Group Inc. The had an annual average earning growth of 12.7% over the past 10 years.
Soros owns 4,123,176 shares as of 12/31/2009 and Paulson bought 5,104,281 shares in the quarter that ended on 12/31/2009.
Apollo Group Inc. (APOL)
Apollo Group, Inc. has been providing higher education to working adults for over 25 years. Apollo Group Inc. has a market cap of $9.98 billion; its shares were traded at around $64.63 with a P/E ratio of 14.2 and P/S ratio of 2.6. Apollo Group Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 29.1% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Apollo Group Inc. the business predictability rank of 4-star.
Soros owns 7,200 shares as of 12/31/2009 and Paulson bought 829,000 shares in the quarter.
By choice or by chance, the two greatest traders of our time owned and bought the stocks above recently.
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