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Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp (USA) (KOG), National-Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NOV): Here’s What This Multistrategy Money Manager Has Been Buying

Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they’ve bought and sold, via “13F” filings. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.

Today, let’s look at Graham Capital Management, founded in 1994 by Ken Tropin and in the multistrategy macro-oriented hedge fund business. The overall company manages investments for endowments, foundations, sovereign wealth funds, global pensions, investment advisors, and wealthy individuals, among others.

The company’s reportable stock portfolio totaled $1.5 billion in value as of June 30, 2013.

Interesting developments
So what does Graham Capital’s latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:

Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp (USA) (NYSE:KOG)The biggest new holdings are Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC) and calls on Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA). Other new holdings of interest include Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp (USA) (NYSE:KOG). Kodiak recently bought 42,000 acres in the productive Bakken region, upping its assets there by 27% and adding thousands of new barrels of oil to its production levels. Bulls love Kodiak’s rapid growth and see more room to grow. Bears worry that it might be too focused on the Bakken and not sufficiently diversified. It’s also increasing its share count and has significant debt, which is likely to grow more as Kodiak continues investing heavily.

Among holdings in which Graham Capital Management increased its stake was National-Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE:NOV), which is dominant in oil and gas drilling and oil-field services equipment. It recently posted second-quarter earnings that showed margins shrinking a bit, which sent shares downward. Its backlog for capital equipment orders jumped 24% over year-earlier levels, though to a record level of nearly $14 billion. The company recently doubled its dividend (yielding 1.4%) and seems an attractive buy to many.

Graham Capital Management reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Ultra Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:UPL). It, too, just reported its second-quarter results, revealing that it’s still an ultra-low-cost producer of natural gas. That helps it not get as hurt by low natural gas prices as many peers. The company also swung to a profit of $116 million, from a $1.2 billion loss last year. It has significant debt, but rising gas prices can help it pay that down.

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