Renaissance Technologies reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) . The domestic tobacco giant’s future doesn’t look as rosy as its past, due to a shrinking smoker base in the U.S., more folks moving to discount cigarettes , and rising taxes and regulations. Respected analysts at Steifel Nicolaus recently rated the stock a buy, but my colleague Rich Smith thinks they’re wrong. Altria sports a dividend yield of 5.2%, and its recent results have been strong, with solid management projections.
Finally, Renaissance’s biggest closed positions included Boeing and Wells Fargo. Other closed positions of interest include Halcon Resources and Sandridge Energy . Oil and gas company Halcon has been growing by acquiring assets such as shale-field properties and is expected to grow by 30% annually in the next few years. It operates in the promising Bakken region, for example. The company recently reported 2012 net daily production up 128% over year-ago levels and proven reserves up by 417%.
Fellow energy concern SandRidge has been struggling lately, leading activist Dinakar Singh at TPG-Axon to push for some big changes such as the ouster of the company’s CEO and a more coherent strategy. Many investors are wisely steering clear, but some see significant potential value, if the company can get its act together. In its latest quarter, revenue surged, but that didn’t translate to bottom-line growth.
We should never blindly copy any investor’s moves, no matter how talented the investor. But it can be useful to keep an eye on what smart folks are doing. 13-F forms can be great places to find intriguing candidates for our portfolios.
The article Here’s What Some Big-Time Quants Are Buying originally appeared on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, owns shares of PepsiCo. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of PepsiCo and Wells Fargo. It also owns shares of General Electric.
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