Chicago billionaire Ken Griffin, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Citadel Advisors, was the highest-paid hedge fund manager in 2015, earning a stunning $1.7 billion paycheck during a year when most hedge funds lost millions of dollars. The monetary windfall allowed the CEO of Citadel to secure the title of highest earnign hedge fund manager for the second-consecutive year. The $23 billion Citadel hedge fund has posted double-digit gains each year since the financial crisis, when the investment firm lost a whopping 55%. The Chicago-based investment firm had a portfolio worth a massive $79.25 billion on March 31, though that was down from $91.63 billion recorded at the end of the December quarter. Having this in mind, let’s proceed to the discussion of Mr. Griffin’s five largest equity positions as of the end of the March quarter.
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#5. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY)
– Number of shares owned by Citadel (as of March 31): 5.02 Million
– Value of Citadel’s holding (as of March 31): $320.71 Million
Citadel upped its stake in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) by 10% during the first three months of 2016, ending the March quarter with 5.02 million shares valued at $320.71 million. The New York-based drugmaker has seen its market value increase by 3% since the beginning of 2016. Just recently, BMS released its financial results for the first quarter of 2016 and raised its top- and bottom-line guidance for the full year, as sales of anti-cancer treatment Opdivo, blood thinner Eliquis, and Hepatitis C drug Daklinza each rose more than anticipated. The company anticipates full-year revenue to increase in the low double-digit range, compared to the previously-anticipated growth in the mid-single-digit range. In April, BMS acquired private biotechnology company Padlock, which is focused on creating medicines for the treatment of destructive autoimmune diseases. Samuel Isaly’s OrbiMed Advisors owns 7.62 million shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) as of March 31.
#4. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)
– Number of shares owned by Citadel (as of March 31): 8.94 Million
– Value of Citadel’s holding (as of March 31): $329.06 Million
Billionaire Ken Griffin and his team trimmed Citadel’s exposure to Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) by 1.15 million shares during the first quarter of 2016. The quarter-end stake was worth $329.06 million and accounted for 0.42% of Citadel’s gigantic portfolio. The embattled Internet company appears to be focused on selling its core businesses after facing strong pressure from Jeffrey Smith’s Starboard Value LP throughout 2015. Just recently, Yahoo added four Starboard-designated directors to the Board, including Mr. Smith, who also joined the company’s strategic review committee. It is being bandied about in the media that billionaire Warren Buffett is backing a consortium which includes Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, a group which is seeking to acquire Yahoo’s assets. The consortium, which is said to be primarily interested in Yahoo! Finance, is one of several bidders who entered the second round of bidding for Yahoo’s core businesses. Shares of Yahoo have gained 12% year-to-date. Jeffrey Altman’s Owl Creek Asset Management was the owner of 15.05 million shares of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) at the end of March.
We’ll go over the top three stock picks of billionaire Ken Griffin on the next page.