Ken Griffin runs one heck of a prolific hedge fund at Citadel Advisors. The fund held 7,945 positions at the end of 2014, worth $82.66 billion, up $2.45 billion from the end of the past quarter. Of those nearly 8,000 positions, 924 of them were new positions, opened during the fourth quarter of 2014, while Griffin also made additions to 3,440 of the existing positions. That compared to 666 positions that were closed, and 3,497 existing positions that were trimmed. Let’s take a look now at the biggest of those new positions, to see which new stocks caught Griffin’s eye the most in the fourth quarter.
First up is ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG), in which Griffin’s new position of 3.79 million shares vaulted him right to the top of the charts among funds we track. While the $137.47 million stake only amounts to 0.16% of Griffin’s portfolio, it’s nonetheless a big move into the packaged foods company, which counts Hunt’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, and Chef Boyardee among its brands.
ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) enjoyed a strong run to close out 2014 after dipping over 22% between August 2013 and February 2014, as the company suffered through weaker sales and scrutinizing during the GMO controversy at the time. ConAgra regained 30% over the final ten months of the year, and 10% over the final three months, despite revenues from its fiscal 2015 second quarter slipping beneath those of the previous year.
Where the attraction in ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) appears to lie is in its burgeoning frozen potato business, with the American company announcing a partnership with Netherlands-based Meijer Frozen Foods in December, which will see them invest $150 million in potato processing operations in that country to greatly increase their overall capacity. It also recently opened a new plant in China. The frozen potato market is expected to grow by 1.8 billion pounds over the next four years.