Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (QCOR), Harris Corporation (HRS) & More: Here’s What This $4 Billion Winning Hedge Fund Company Has Bought and Sold

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Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:QCOR)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 GMT Capital, a private investment company founded by Thomas Claugus in 1990 that manages several hedge funds and other accounts. Its reportable stock portfolio totaled $4.1 billionin value as of March 31, 2013. You don’t generally grow that large without doing some things right. The company’s Bay Resource Partners hedge fund was named one of the richest 100 in 2011 by Bloomberg. In its first 15 years, it averaged a 20% annual return, almost twice that of the S&P 500.

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

The biggest new holdings are Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE:DSX) and Newport Corporation (NASDAQ:NEWP). Other new holdings of interest include energy concern Magnum Hunter Resources Corp (NYSE:MHR) . The stock is has significant short interest, with many concerned about its significant debt and a delay in the filing of its year-end report (which is expected to be filed by the end of June). Meanwhile, the company has been shifting attention from low-priced natural gas toward oil and liquids, and is diversifying across several promising shale fields, such as the Utica.

Among holdings in which GMT Capital increased its stake was Canada-based uranium specialist Cameco Corporation (USA) (NYSE:CCJ) . The company’s business is expected to improve as gas and coal prices eventually rise, and also due to new nuclear plants being built. My colleague Sean Williams likes Cameco Corporation (USA) (NYSE:CCJ)’s transparency, expects higher uranium prices, and notes that China is also expected to demand more uranium over time. Some see the stock having a fair chance to appreciate substantially.

GMT Capital reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) , which has struggled in recent years, in part due to low prices and demand for LCD substrates. The stock has pulled back a bit from a 52-week high and sports a P/E ratio of 13. Some worry that Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW)’s acclaimed Gorilla Glass is threatened by growing interest in sapphire, while others argue that it’s clearly a bargain at recent levels, with a forward P/E around 10 and a 2.6% dividend yield, to boot. It’s worth noting its major presence in the fiber-optics world, too.

Finally, GMT Capital’s biggest closed positions included Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) and NII Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:NIHD). Other closed positions of interest include Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ:SQNM) and Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOR) . Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ:SQNM), which makes molecular and genetic diagnostic tests, is a relatively small concern, with a market cap near $500 million. One of the company’s tests checks for Down syndrome in a non-invasive manner, which should be of interest to many older women. Future tests might address conditions such as macular degeneration. Meanwhile, the company is expanding its reach abroad, but it’s still posting widening losses along with strong revenue growth.

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