We track quarterly 13F filings from hundreds of hedge funds and other notable investors, including billionaire George Soros. We use the information in 13Fs as part of our work developing investment strategies (we have found, for example, that the most popular small cap stocks among hedge funds generate an average excess return of 18 percentage points per year) but it’s also possible to screen picks from top investors such as Soros according to a number of criteria. The PEG ratio serves as one way to measure a stock’s upside potential; this metric includes the P/E multiple and analyst forecasts for future earnings growth (which admittedly aren’t always accurate, so investors should do more research on any interesting stocks rather than take these projections at face value). Read on for our thoughts on Soros’s five largest holdings as of the end of March in stocks with five-year PEG ratios less than 1 (or see the full list of stocks Soros reported owning).
Soros reported a position of over 9 million shares in Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL). Airlines are notoriously bad investments, but some value investors argue that US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC)’s merger with American will lead to industry consolidation and therefore allow higher prices. Analyst expectations for 2014 imply that Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL)’s forward P/E is 6, with the stock’s PEG ratio being well below 1. We’d be interested in doing more research on the airlines as value plays. Billionaire David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management has been another major shareholder in Delta and other airlines (check out Tepper’s stock picks).
US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC) was actually another of Soros’s high upside potential picks itself with the filing disclosing ownership of 7.8 million shares- almost double what he had owned three months earlier. We’d be somewhat concerned about the integration risk that comes with the American acquisition, although US Airways also trades at 6 times forward earnings estimates and so we’d consider it at least a prospective value stock. Billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller was selling US Airways during Q1, though he still owned 1.2 million shares at the beginning of April (find Druckenmiller’s favorite stocks).