(By Street Authority) It's that time of year again, when investment managers are required to disclose their fund's holdings to the SEC, and by extension, to all investors. And for most investment companies and hedge funds, it's a pretty straight-forward process... just make a list of all the stocks you own, and how much of them you own.
If you're Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn, however, it's not quite that simple. With Einhorn's willingness to hold short as well as long positions (not to mention his willingness to speak out about them) in the $7 billion hedge fund, it's a bit of a process to truly figure out what he's thinking, or trading.
On the other hand, considering his fund has returned an average of 21% per year for the past 15 years, sifting through the data is worth the effort.
What Einhorn likes
Of course, closed trades are history and don't offer investors any new specific coattails to ride. The best clues traders can glean from Greenlight's exits last quarter are to look at what he bought.
There were only three new positions added in the first quarter, in addition to only three existing trades that were bolstered.
Einhorn increased his stake in information services firm DST Systems (NYSE: DST) by 39% to a total position of about 1.5 million shares, while the fund's stake in semiconductor maker Marvell Technology Group Ltd (Nasdaq: MRVL) and data storage firm Seagate Technology (Nasdaq: STX) both saw a very modest amount of new money thrown in -- nothing noteworthy on either front.
As for the brand new positions, eyebrows may have been raised, but he may well be on to something good...
The biggest addition was the 1 million-share, $33 million position in online travel booking site Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE).
In retrospect, it was a brilliant a trade. The stock jumped from $32.63 to $40.30 on April 27th after the company handily topped earnings estimates of $0.16 per share by posting a gain of $0.26.