Back in September 2010, following David Tepper's first "balls to the wall" appearance on CNBC, we were not very surprised to learn that the seemingly permabullish hedge fund manager had taken the opportunity to follow up on the brief euphoria his speech generated then to cut 20% of his positions in assorted financial stocks - just the stocks he was praising loud and clear to the financial station with the plunging viewership. Moments ago, Tepper's Appaloosa filed its 13F for the quarter ended March 31, so yes, before his most recent appearance yesterday. Yet we were somewhat confused by why the manager, once again so bullish he could see no scenario that could send stocks lower, and who estimated a war in the middle east could lead to a mindblowing 5% drop in the market, decided to trim his core holdings.
- AAPL, which was his biggest holdings at December 31, with 912,661 shares amounting to $486 million, was trimmed by 41% to just 540,000. Perhaps he was merely locking in the losses during one of AAPL's worst quarters in recent history?
- Citigroup, currently his top stake with 8,519,547 shares amounting to $377 million: stake cut by 7.3% from December 31.
- United Continental Holdings, currently his second highest stake with 8,508,613 shares amounting to $272.4 million: stake cut by 6.7% from December 31.
- AIG, previously his third largest holding, and the latest and greatest hedge fund hotel darling: stake cut by 28.6% from 6 million shares to 4.3 million
And so on.
In other words we wonder: was Tepper's appearance yesterday simply to frontrun himself and to give him the opportunity to buy stocks he likes at higher prices, or, and it pains us to even contemplate it, sell more of his exposure to suckers?
Some other highlights:
- New stakes in Comcast, Check Point, Prudential, Hess, and seemingly after hiring a new materials analyst, Ashland, Fluor, KBR and Foster Wheeler.
- Stakes exited: QQQ, Oracle, NE, ESV.
Full breakdown of Top 40 positions below: