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Billion Dollar Bridger Management’s New Stock Picks: UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH), United Rentals, Inc. (URI), Priceline.com Inc (PCLN)

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BRIDGER MANAGEMENTRoberto Mignone of Bridger Management recently released its 13F filing with the SEC for the final quarter of 2012, giving the public insight into the secretive hedge fund manager’s latest portfolio moves. The $1.4bn fund prefers to keep its AUM in its current size range, as Mignone believes performance has a negative correlation to fund size. We keep a close eye on these filings, as we’ve been able to discern a small-cap strategy that has netted investors 29% since its inception last September (find out more here). Read on to see our take on the five largest of the nine new positions initiated by Bridger last quarter.

United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE:URI) received a $46mm investment from Bridger, making it the biggest of the fund’s new additions. The equipment rental company is up a respectable 17% on the year so far, supported by an impressive earnings beat in January. Higher rental rates and increased demand have been seen across the business rental industry, helping the company post a 41% year over year bump in net earnings, although guidance came in at lower than expected. Bank of America/Merrill Lynch initiated coverage on United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE:URI) last month, rating it a Buy. Billionaire Glenn Russell Dubin of Highbridge Capital Management bought nearly 2.5mm shares last quarter (take a look at his fund’s top stocks here).

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) now occupies a 2.7% spot in Bridger’s portfolio, amounting to $38mm. The health insurer has made recent pushes to expand its global footprint, initiating or increasing operations in countries like Brazil, South Africa, and the Czech Republic. UNH now has a presence in 123 companies. On U.S. soil, the company’s participation in upcoming health insurance exchanges could add millions of new members to its roster, possibly translating to billions in revenue for health insurance players. Billionaire Leon Cooperman of Omega Advisors carries 1.6mm shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) in his fund (read about his portfolio here).

Bridger purchased almost $35mm worth of Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) in the final quarter of 2012. The online travel company has seen increased use by consumers over the past few years, making it a much fiercer competitor against larger Expedia. The company received approval by the FTC to purchase Kayak for $1.8bn in January; however, U.K. antitrust regulators released an extended review on March 13th that will prolong the close of the deal. The company saw a 13% decrease in interest from hedge funds moving from Q3 2012 to Q4. Billionaire Stephen Mandel of Lone Pine Capital has over a billion dollars invested in Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) (view his other holdings here).

Read on to see Bridger’s other latest additions.

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