Here’s What Top Hedge Funder Louis Bacon’s Been Up To

in INVESTING IDEAS by

Moore Capital released its quarterly 13F filing with the SEC earlier today which highlighted a number of stocks that the firm’s buying and selling. Top-performing stocks include Vipshop Holdings ltd – ADR (NYSE: VIPS), Collegium Pharmaceutical Inc (Nasdaq: COLL), and bluebird bio Inc (Nasdaq: BLUE).


How Bacon Came On The Scene

Louis Bacon is a widely followed hedge fund manager that founded Moore Capital. He first came on to the scene when he hit a home run in the 1987 stock market crash where he was short S&P futures and then shifted long just as the market bottomed. This ultimately helped Bacon make a name for himself. He then decided to raise his own fund in 1989 under the name Moore Capital. It has been reported that Moore Capital has returned 31% annually after fees since its inception. Very impressive!

However, Bacon is relatively tight-lipped about his investing style. Forbes once described his investment strategy as “secretive, risk-conscious, a bit paranoid.

Although Bacon doesn’t share his secret sauce, investors can infer his approach through SEC filings. I take a closer look at Moore Capital’s direct investments in public equities as reported in its 13F which was filed earlier today.


Moore Capital’s Largest Holdings

On February 14th, Louis Bacon’s firm Moore Capital filed its quarterly Form 13F regulatory filing. I reviewed the filing to gain a glimpse into the firm’s large portfolio.

Moore Capital’s stock portfolio totals $5.2 billion according to the latest filing. The list value of stock holdings is up 1.2% when compared to the last quarter. As a benchmark, the S&P 500 was up 6.1% over the same period.

Quarter-over-Quarter Turnover (QoQ Turnover) measures the level of trading activity in a portfolio. Moore Capital’s QoQ Turnover for the latest quarter was 46.5%, so the firm appears to trade a significant percent of its portfolio each quarter.

The Ideas section of finbox.io tracks top investors and trending investment themes. You can get the latest data on the holdings discussed below at the Moore Capital page. The following table summarizes the firm’s largest holdings reported in the last filing:

Moore Capital Largest Holdings
Ticker Name Holding ($mil) % Of Portfolio
SPY SPDR S&P 500 ETF TR $907.3 17.3%
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP $216.0 4.1%
AAPL APPLE INC $199.7 3.8%
BABA ALIBABA GROUP HLDG LTD $195.7 3.7%
FB FACEBOOK INC $180.9 3.5%
AMZN AMAZON COM INC $105.8 2.0%
CCI CROWN CASTLE INTL CORP NEW $94.4 1.8%

 

The seven positions above represent 36.3% of the fund’s total portfolio. Outside of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSEARCA: SPY), it was interesting to see that Bacon’s four largest stock positions are in the technology sector. Top five positions if you count Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) as a technology stock.


Moore Capital’s 7 Largest Purchases

I also used finbox.io to find Moore Capital’s largest buys last quarter. Here’s the list of the biggest purchases determined by comparing the last two filings:

Moore Capital 7 Largest Purchases
Ticker Name Purchased ($mil) % Of Portfolio
SPY SPDR S&P 500 ETF TR $393.6 17.3%
AAPL APPLE INC $152.3 3.8%
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP $130.4 4.1%
HYG ISHARES TR $87.3 1.7%
PX PRAXAIR INC $86.1 1.6%
APC ANADARKO PETE CORP $83.6 1.7%
COF CAPITAL ONE FINL CORP $62.2 1.2%

 

The largest stock purchase for the quarter was Apple Inc (NasdaqGS: AAPL). Moore Capital increased its position in the company by $152.3 million and the stock now represents 3.8% of the firm’s portfolio. The next largest stock purchase was Microsoft Corporation (NasdaqGS: MSFT). The investment manager increased its position in the company by $130.4 million with the stock now representing 4.1% of the firm’s portfolio.


Moore Capital’s 7 Biggest Sells

Here’s the list of biggest position reductions determined by comparing the last two filings:

Moore Capital 7 Biggest Sells
Ticker Name Sold ($mil) % Of Portfolio
EEM ISHARES TR $440.8 1.8%
IWM ISHARES TR $177.1 0.2%
JPM JPMORGAN CHASE & CO $111.7 2.2%
BAC BANK AMER CORP $98.0 0.5%
AMZN AMAZON COM INC $93.6 2.0%
CMG CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC $84.3 1.6%
DPZ DOMINOS PIZZA INC $74.5 1.4%

 

The largest stock sale for the quarter was JP Morgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM). Moore Capital reduced its position in the company by $111.7 million and the stock now represents 2.2% of the firm’s portfolio. The next largest stock sale was Bank of America (NYSE: BAC). The firm reduced its position in the company by $98.0 million.


Moore Capital’s Low P/E Ratio Stocks

The P/E Ratio indicates the multiple of earnings stock investors are willing to pay for one share of the company. A low P/E can indicate either that a company may currently be undervalued or that the company is doing exceptionally well relative to its past trends. The following table summarizes the firm’s holdings with the lowest P/E multiple.

Moore Capital Low P/E Ratio Stocks
Ticker Name P/E Ratio LTM % Of Portfolio
GCP GCP APPLIED TECHNOLOGIES INC 3.7x 0.1%
HDS HD SUPPLY HLDGS INC 6.5x 0.3%
M MACYS INC 10.7x 0.6%
TMUS T MOBILE US INC 11.0x 0.1%
DST DST SYS INC DEL 12.1x 0.1%
SYF SYNCHRONY FINANCIAL 13.0x 1.0%
COF CAPITAL ONE FINL CORP 13.2x 1.2%

 

The cheapest stock that Moore Capital owns is GCP Applied Technologies Inc (NYSE: GCP) which currently trades at 3.7x earnings.


Moore Capital’s Best 1-Month Performance Stocks

To find stocks in the firm’s portfolio that may be popular at the moment or have tailwinds moving forward, I ranked the firm’s holdings by price appreciation. The ranking table below lists the stocks in Moore Capital’s portfolio by stock price performance over the last 30 days.

Moore Capital Best 1-Month Performance Stocks
Ticker Name Price 1-mo Ago Current Price % Change 1-mo
VIPS VIPSHOP HLDGS LTD $14.51 $18.94 30.5%
COLL COLLEGIUM PHARMACEUTICAL INC $20.02 $25.58 27.8%
BLUE BLUEBIRD BIO INC $170.70 $207.80 21.7%
NFLX NETFLIX INC $221.23 $268.98 21.6%
DECK DECKERS OUTDOOR CORP $82.95 $95.62 15.3%
WB WEIBO CORP $121.44 $139.70 15.0%
ANF ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO $19.10 $21.95 14.9%

 

Shares of Vipshop Holdings Limited (NYSE: VIPS) have increased by 30.5% over the last month. Investors may want to take a closer look at the stock, especially with ‘smart money’ backing it.

Managers with more than $100 million in qualifying assets under management are required to disclose their holdings to the SEC each quarter via 13F filings. Qualifying assets include long positions in U.S. equities and ADRs, call/put options, and convertible debt securities. Shorts, cash positions, foreign investments and other assets are not included.

It is important to note that these filings are due 45 days after the quarter end date. Therefore, Moore Capital’s holdings above represent positions held as of December 31st and not necessarily reflective of the fund’s current stock holdings.


Author: Andy Pai

Expertise: financial modeling, mergers & acquisitions

Andy is a founder at finbox.io, where he’s focused on building tools that make it faster and easier for investors to do investment research. Andy’s background is in investment banking where he led the analysis on over 50 board advisory engagements involving mergers and acquisitions, fairness opinions and solvency opinions. Some of his board advisory highlights:

  • Sears Holdings Corp.’s $620 mm spin-off via rights offering of Sears Outlet, Hometown Stores and Sears Hardware Stores.
  • Cerberus Capital Management’s $3.3 bn acquisition of SUPERVALU Inc.’s New Albertsons, Inc. assets.

Andy can be reached at andy@finbox.io.

As of this writing, I did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities and this is not a buy or sell recommendation on any security mentioned.

Expertise: financial modeling, mergers & acquisitions. Andy is also a founder at finbox.io, where he’s focused on building tools that make it faster and easier for investors to do investment research. Andy’s background is in investment banking where he led the analysis on over 50 board advisory engagements involving mergers and acquisitions, fairness opinions and solvency opinions. Some of his board advisory highlights: - Sears Holdings Corp.’s $620 mm spin-off via rights offering of Sears Outlet, Hometown Stores and Sears Hardware Stores. - Cerberus Capital Management’s $3.3 bn acquisition of SUPERVALU Inc.’s New Albertsons, Inc. assets. Andy can be reached at andy@finbox.io or at +1 (516) 778-6257.

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