Smart money trading in AngloGold Ashanti Limited (ADR) (NYSE:AU) was mostly flat during the first quarter, with 21 funds holding positions valued at $635.16 million on March 31 compared to 21 funds holding $599.32 million in shares three months earlier. With shares rising by about 7.35% during the first quarter, the increase in capital did not offset the stock price gain, meaning there was a slight selling of shares collectively. Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital Management was one such fund that lost its appetite for AngloGold Ashanti Limited (ADR) (NYSE:AU) in the first quarter, selling off 82% of its position to leave it with just 60,805 shares worth $568,000.
Lastly is Gold Fields Limited (ADR) (NYSE:GFI), which also maintained the same number of investors with long positions, at 16, throughout the first quarter, though it saw their total investments plummet to $309.00 million from $394.10 million. While shares did decline by over 11% during the quarter, invested capital fell by over 21%, suggesting a big dip in enthusiasm for the stock. John Paulson’s Paulson & Co. was a big seller, closing its position that previously contained 3.95 million shares worth $17.88 million.
Of the three gold stocks, smart money was slightly bullish on one, neutral on the other, and slightly bearish on the third. Clearly, not even the smart money foresaw the big decline in gold and gold stocks, and there are a lot of disappointed investors holding them in their portfolios today.