SandRidge Energy Inc. (SD): Billionaire Leon Cooperman’s Small Cap Picks

Cooperman and his team maintained ownership of almost 14 million shares of KKR Financial Holdings LLC (NYSE:KFN), a $1.9 billion market cap investor in various classes of high yield debt- including corporate debt and distressed securities- as well as some equity investments. KKR Financial Holdings LLC (NYSE:KFN) is another high yield stock going by recent dividend policy, with a yield of 7.6%, though this is in turn due to the relative risk of its assets. Cobalt Capital Management, which is managed by Cooperman’s son Wayne Cooperman, was another major holder of the stock.

Acquisition target Mcmoran Exploration Co (NYSE:MMR), which is set to be purchased by large basic materials company Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX), was another of Omega’s favorite stocks. The acquisition- which diversifies Freeport-McMoRan into oil and gas- was criticized by most investors and the stock price suffered a substantial correction as a result. This is partly because the company is paying a large premium for Mcmoran Exploration Co (NYSE:MMR) (which had at one point been part of the same business) and a related oil company, but Cooperman has said that the deal will create shareholder value and he was buying shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX) in Q4.

Omega disclosed a position of 3.9 million shares in Atlas Energy LP (NYSE:ATLS), roughly even with what the fund had owned three months earlier. First Eagle Investment Management also owned Atlas Energy, with about 840,000 shares in its portfolio at the end of 2012 (find First Eagle’s favorite stocks). Atlas Energy LP (NYSE:ATLS) is an integrated producer, gatherer, and processor of natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids with a market capitalization of $2.3 billion. We’d note that the stock price is very sensitive to market conditions, with a beta of 3.1. The dividend yield here is more modest than at Atlas Pipeline Partners, at 2.7%.

Disclosure: I own no shares of any stocks mentioned in this article.

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