Hg Vora Capital Management’s Top Holdings At the End of March

Parag Vora’s Hg Vora Capital Management presented a Form 13F at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission a few days ago. In this filing, the fund disclosed most of its long equity positions as of March 31, 2014. Its first quarter equity portfolio is pretty much divided between financial and services stocks, which comprise 42% and 40% of the total value of its portfolio.

Over the quarter, Hg Vora purchased four new stocks, increased its stakes in four more companies, and sold out of seven stocks. Let’s take a look at three particularly interesting moves that took place over 2014’s first quarter.

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc (NYSE:PNK)

First off is Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc (NYSE:PNK), a $1.5 billion market cap owner, operator and developer of casinos and related hospitality and entertainment facilities. Over the first quarter Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc (NYSE:PNK), Mr. Vora’s fund increased its stakes in the stock by 38% and now owns 4.7 million shares, valued at more than $111 million. This makes it the fund’s most valuable holding, which accounts for about ¼ of it portfolio’s total value –and also makes it the largest hedge fund shareholder at Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc (NYSE:PNK).

Other funds that are betting on Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc (NYSE:PNK) are Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management, which started a position in the company over Q1 and now owns more than 2.33 million shares, and Daniel Lewis’ Orange Capital, which upped its stakes by 26% over the quarter, to 2.23 million shares.

Another company that felt Hg Vora’s bullishness is American Realty Capital Properties Inc (NASDAQ:ARCP),  a $9.6 billion market cap self-managed and self-administered REIT, focused mainly on commercial real estate that saw several of its insiders buy its stock over the past few months. In addition, during the first three months of the year, Hg Vora started a position in the stock with 4.6 million shares of American Realty Capital Properties Inc (NASDAQ:ARCP), worth about $65 million. This holding accounts for almost 15% of the fund’s total portfolio.

On top of Mr. Vora’s and the insiders’ bullishness, other major hedge funds are placing big wages on this stock. Richard Mcguire’s Marcato Capital Management, American Realty Capital Properties Inc (NASDAQ:ARCP)’s largest hedge fund shareholder, recently upped its stakes by 138%, and now owns 20.98 million shares, worth about $295 million. David Simon’s Twin Capital Management, for its part, more than tripled its bets on American Realty Capital Properties and currently holds 7.6 million shares, while Eric Mindich’s Eton Park Capital started a position with 7.4 million shares.

Finally, there’s Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AHT), a $994 million market cap real estate investment trust, which invests in the hospitality industry across all segments and in all methods including direct real estate, securities, equity, and debt. Over the first fiscal quarter of 2014, Hg Vora Capital Management quadrupled its stakes in Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AHT). Its 5.5 million shares stake, worth roughly $62 million, comprise about 14% of the fund’s total portfolio and make it the company’s largest hedge fund shareholder, trailed by Michael Thompson’s Bhr Capital, which recently started a position with 2.6 million shares. I should highlight that Jim Simons also is amongst the largest hedge fund investors, with approximately 1 million shares.

Hg Vora Capital Management is a New York based, event driven and value oriented private investment firm managed by Parag Vora, who founded it in 2009. Its equity portfolio, valued at approximately $434 million, is focused mainly on financial and services stocks, although ETFs are also quite important. “The firm often invests in companies with leveraged balance sheets, near term operational challenges or those undergoing some form of strategic change” (HgVora). Assets under management are estimated at more than $1.6 billion.

 

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no position in any stocks mentioned

 

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