Clint Carlson and Carlson Capitals Favorite Stock Picks

Clint Carlson is the founder, president and CIO of Carlson Capital, which reported $6.4 Billion total assets in its last 13F filing. Carlson holds a bachelor’s degree and an M.B.A. from Rice University, and a Doctorate of Law degree from the University of Houston. Prior to forming Carlson Capital in 1993, Carlson was the head of risk arbitrage for the investment arm of the Bass Brothers organization. Carlson Capital’s primary investment strategies include risk arbitrage, relative value arbitrage and distressed/credit arbitrage. Carlson Capital’s biggest fund, the $3.86 billion Double Black Diamond LP, was founded in 1997. The fund gained an annualized 11 percent until 2009.

Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C)

According to 13F filings, Carlson had at least 506 securities in its portfolio as of March 31, 2011. The five largest stocks that Carlson sold in the first quarter are Alcon Inc (ACL), Dover Corp (DOV), Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM), Mcafee Inc and Potash Corp Sask Inc (POT).

Here is how Carlson’s top picks performed since the end of March 2011:

Stock Value (Millions) Return
Since Mar 31st
CITIGROUP INC (C) 151.6 -6.0%
GENZYME CORP (GENZ) 120.8 N/A
MARSHALL & ILSLEY CORP (MI) 110.9 -2.1%
PRIDE INTL INC DEL (PDE) 102.8 -3.8%
BUCYRUS INTL INC NEW (BUCY) 102.1 -0.2%
BANK OF AMERICA (BAC) 89.8 -10.5%
PEPSICO INC (PEP) 87.6 9.5%
JPMORGAN CHASE & CO (JPM) 86.7 -5.9%
STARWOOD HOTELS&RESORTS (HOT) 79.2 0.0%
ORACLE CORP (ORCL) 78.0 5.5%
GOOGLE INC (GOOG) 77.9 -9.8%
ENERGY PARTNERS LTD (EPL) 76.3 -12.4%
MASSEY ENERGY COMPANY (MEE) 72.1 -13.5%
FEDEX CORP (FDX) 70.1 0.0%
NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORP (NSC) 66.3 3.9%
ALLSTATE CORP (ALL) 59.5 1.9%
ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC (RDS) 54.5 -3.3%
APPLE INC (AAPL) 54.5 -2.3%
HCA HOLDINGS INC (HCA) 54.4 2.2%
GEO GROUP INC (GEO) 54.3 -0.8%
SARA LEE CORP (SLE) 53.8 9.0%
AMERICAN TOWER CORP (AMT) 52.7 2.2%
HEWLETT PACKARD CO (HPQ) 52.2 -1.4%
AMERICAN EXPRESS CO (AXP) 51.9 9.9%
EXPRESS SCRIPTS INC (ESRX) 50.4 7.8%
MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT) 50.2 -1.4%
MACERICH CO (MAC) 49.4 3.3%
ZIONS BANCORPORATION (ZION) 49.0 0.3%
DANAHER CORP DEL (DHR) 47.6 3.8%
SIMON PPTY GROUP INC NEW (SPG) 47.5 8.3%
Value Weighted Return of Top 30 Holdings 2,154 -1.0%
SPY N/A 1.1%

The above table shows the performance of Carlson’s 30 largest positions. C was Carlson’s biggest investment at the end of March 2011. C has lost 6.0% since the end of March, underperforming the SPY’s 1.1% return. Carlson increased his exposure by 204.3% in the first quarter. Citigroup is one of the favor stocks that hedge funds and analysts love.

Carlson was holding $120.8 million in Genzyme Corp (GENZ) shares at the end of March 2011. Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) announced on April 8, 2011 that it has completed its acquisition of Genzyme Corporation, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sanofi-Aventis.

Carlson bought $54 million of RDS shares during the last quarter of 2010. RDS has lost 3.3% since the end of March. RDS is one of the Fortune’s top ten picks for 2011 which fail to beat the market. Bruce Berkowitz’s Fairholme had $12 million in RDS-A shares at the end of 2010.

The biggest drag on Carlson’s recent performance is the decline in MEE. MEE has lost 13.5% since the end of March. Dan Loeb’s Third Point had $100+ Million in Massey Energy at the end of December.

His 30 largest positions have lost 1.0% since the end of March 2011, underperforming the SPY by 2.1 percentage points.

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