Billionaire John Paulson’s 10 Biggest Stock Picks

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In this article, we will discuss billionaire John Paulson’s 10 biggest stock picks. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of Paulson’s history, investment philosophy, and hedge fund performance, go directly to Billionaire John Paulson’s 5 Biggest Stock Picks.

Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, founder, president and portfolio manager of the New York-based investment management firm Paulson & Co., is known as “one of the most prominent names in high finance”. After earning his bachelor’s degree from the New York University’s College of Business and Public Administration, and his M.B.A from Harvard Business School, John Paulson commenced his career at Boston Consulting Group in 1980, and then moved on to work for Odyssey Partners. He left the equity firm to serve in the mergers and acquisition department of Bear Stearns. In 1994, John Paulson established Paulson & Co., his very own hedge fund.

Relatively unknown in the world of finance and hedge funds for almost a decade pursuing a merger arbitrage strategy that yielded mediocre results, John Paulson rose to prominence in 2007 when he predicted the collapse of the United States housing market, simultaneously betting against subprime mortgage securities. In what many call the greatest trade in history, John Paulson’s Paulson & Co. earned over $15 billion, while he himself earned over $4 billion, John Paulson’s reputation propelled from being a low profile investor, to a financial legend.

According to the most recent 13F filings, Paulson & Co., as an investment firm, manages more than $4.35 billion in its investment portfolio. The hedge fund’s portfolio is diversified across 7 key sectors, with the Healthcare sector being the largest one.

Some of the top stocks present in the investment portfolio of Paulson & Co. at the end of the second quarter of 2021 include Bausch Health Companies Inc. (NYSE:BHC), Horizon Therapeutics Public Limited Company (NASDAQ:HZNP), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY), among others discussed below.

John Paulson of Paulson & Co

Our Methodology

With this background in mind, let us now look towards billionaire John Paulson’s 10 biggest stock picks. We made use of Paulson & Co.’s 13F portfolio for the second quarter for this analysis.

Why should we pay attention to John Paulson’s stock picks? Insider Monkey’s research was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 86 percentage points since March 2017. Between March 2017 and July 2021, our monthly newsletter’s stock picks returned 186.1%, vs. 100.1% for the SPY. Our stock picks outperformed the market by 86 percentage points (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to. You can subscribe to our free newsletter on our homepage to receive our stories in your inbox.

Billionaire John Paulson’s 10 Biggest Stock Picks

10. Thryv Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:THRY)

Paulson’s Stake Value: $100.3 million

Percentage of John Paulson’s 13F Portfolio: 2.39%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 15

Thryv Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:THRY) is a software company based in Dallas, Texas. The company provides marketing solutions for small-to-medium businesses. Ranked tenth on the list of billionaire John Paulson’s 10 biggest stock picks, Thryv Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:THRY) has a market capitalization of $956.36 million.

In the second quarter of 2021, John Paulson’s Paulson & Co. held over 2.8 million shares of Thryv Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:THRY), amounting to more than $100.3 million in worth and representing 2.39% of the fund’s portfolio. By the end of the second quarter of 2021, 15 hedge funds out of the 873 tracked by Insider Monkey held stakes in Thryv Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:THRY) worth roughly $766 million. This is compared to 12 hedge funds in the previous quarter with a total stake value of approximately $618.5 million.

As of the fiscal second quarter of 2021, Thryv Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:THRY) reported an earnings per share of $0.66, missing estimates by $0.53. On the other hand, the company’s revenues of $291 million surpassed estimates by $4.35 million.

On August 12, Baird analyst Rob Oliver raised his price target on Thryv Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:THRY) to $46 from $43, and kept an Outperform rating on the shares.

In the Q2 2021 investor letter of Laughing Water Capital, the fund expressed its expectations of Thryv Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:THRY)’s growth due to the expanding software business. Here is what the fund said:

Thryv was introduced anonymously as “Company 2” in our Q1 2021 letter. Historically, this company has been best known as the owner of the Yellow Pages phone books, which has been in and out of bankruptcy in the recent past. While phone books have clearly been in decline since the invention of the internet, this business continues to spit off substantial amounts of cash. Perhaps more importantly, the small businesses that pay to advertise in the Yellow Pages are a fertile hunting ground for the company’s small business software product, which brings all aspects of daily workflow (estimates, invoices, billing, payments, scheduling etc.) into the cloud, replacing a system that is often a combination of post-it notes and an excel file. This SAAS offering has hit a few speedbumps over the last year or so as the company refined their go to market strategy, but growth is re-accelerating and there is a path to increasing customer count by 400-500% in the coming years. What is unusual about this business versus SAAS comps is that it is already profitable. The company has ample opportunity to re-deploy this cash in accretive ways, first through paying down debt, but also through buying up the few remaining phone book businesses globally. To be clear, these would be melting ice cube businesses, but Thryv has demonstrated in the past that they can convert ~10% of phone book customers into SAAS customers that would come with extremely high incremental margins, and these assets are generally available at very low prices. Overtime I expect that as the company grows and as the market gets comfortable with the relationship between cash flows from the declining phone book business, growing software business, and debt the stock will re-rate significantly higher.”

9. Anglogold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU)

Paulson’s Stake Value: $111 million

Percentage of John Paulson’s 13F Portfolio: 2.65%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 12

Anglogold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU) is a gold mining company formed in 2004. The company has over 21 mining operations in over 4 continents. The South Africa-based company is ranked ninth on our list of billionaire John Paulson’s 10 biggest stock picks.

According to the recent 13F Filings, Paulson & Co. holds 5.97 million shares of Anglogold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU), worth $111 million and representing 2.65% of the fund’s investment portfolio. By the end of the second quarter of 2021, 12 hedge funds out of the 873 tracked by Insider Monkey held stakes in Anglogold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU) worth roughly $372.8 million. This is compared to 14 hedge funds in the previous quarter with a total stake value of approximately $319.5 million.

For the second quarter of 2021, Anglogold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU) reported revenues amounting to $722 million, an increase of 10.40% on a year-over-year basis.

On July 9, Investec analyst Herbert Kharivhe upgraded AngloGold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU) to Hold from Sell with a $19.6 price target.

Just like Bausch Health Companies Inc. (NYSE:BHC), Horizon Therapeutics Public Limited Company (NASDAQ:HZNP), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY), Anglogold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU) is one of the biggest stocks in John Paulson’s portfolio.

8. DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH)

Paulson’s Stake Value: $139.8 million

Percentage of John Paulson’s 13F Portfolio: 3.34%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 51

DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH) is an American satellite television company based in Colorado. The company provides satellite television services, alongside audio programming. The company has a market capitalization of $23.98 billion and is ranked eighth on the list of billionaire John Paulson’s 10 biggest stock picks.

The company issued its quarterly earnings report for the second quarter of 2021 on August 9, with actual EPS at $1.06, beating market estimates by $0.21. The company also declared revenues amounting to $4.49 billion, surpassing predictions by $59.52 million.

At the end of the second quarter of 2021, 51 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $2.5 billion in DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), the same as in the previous quarter worth $2.2 billion.

On September 17, Pivotal Research analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak raised his price target on DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH) to $65 from $60 and keeps a Buy rating on the shares.

In its Q2 2021 investor letter, ClearBridge Investments, an asset management firm, highlighted the contributions made by DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH) to the communication and financial sectors. Here is what the fund said:

“Portfolio holdings in the communication services and financials sectors also made strong contributions. Dish Network continues to make progress on the buildout of its greenfield 5G network, with Las Vegas slated to become the first market launched later this year. The company gained credibility, and its stock reacted favorably, after it announced a partnership with Amazon to deploy a 5G cloud-native network using AWS’s cloud infrastructure. While the stock has been volatile in recent quarters, we continue to feel confident in Dish’s long-term prospects, which include competing as a fourth U.S. wireless carrier. Charter Communications has been executing well and benefiting from the growth in residential broadband, which has been accelerated by COVID-19 and should see further support from the Biden Administration’s infrastructure bill, which earmarks $65 billion for broadband buildout. In addition, we expect the company to continue to grow its wireless business, leveraging its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) relationship with Verizon. The company continues to generate strong and growing free cash flow and deploys it toward consistent and material share buybacks.”

7. Perpetua Resources Corporation (NASDAQ:PPTA)

Paulson’s Stake Value: $152.8 million

Percentage of John Paulson’s 13F Portfolio: 3.65%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 3

Perpetua Resources Corporation (NASDAQ:PPTA) operates as a mineral exploration company focused on the exploration and site restoration in areas with gold and other mineral deposits. The Idaho-based company is ranked seventh on the list of billionaire John Paulson’s 10 biggest stock picks.

John Paulson’s hedge fund owns over 20.9 million shares of Perpetua Resources Corporation (NASDAQ:PPTA), amounting to more than $152.8 million in worth, accounting for 3.65% of the fund’s total investment portfolio. By the end of the second quarter of 2021, 3 hedge funds out of the 873 tracked by Insider Monkey held stakes in Perpetua Resources Corporation (NASDAQ:PPTA) worth roughly $184.5 million. The number of hedge funds that held stakes within the company remained unchanged throughout the first and second quarters.

On August 25, B. Riley analyst Lucas Pipes initiated coverage of Perpetua Resources Corporation (NASDAQ:PPTA) with a Buy rating and $22 price target.

Just like Bausch Health Companies Inc. (NYSE:BHC), Horizon Therapeutics Public Limited Company (NASDAQ:HZNP), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY), Perpetua Resources Corporation (NASDAQ:PPTA) is one of the biggest stocks in John Paulson’s portfolio.

6. Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY)

Paulson’s Stake Value: $156.4 million

Percentage of John Paulson’s 13F Portfolio: 3.73%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 57

Ranked sixth on the list of billionaire John Paulson’s 10 biggest stock picks, Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) is a Houston-based energy company that engages in the exploration, production, and development of oil and gas within the United States, with additional operations in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

In the second quarter of 2021, Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) reported an EPS of $0.32, beating estimates by $0.29. The company’s revenue in the second quarter came in at $6.01 billion and beat revenue estimates by $154.32 million.

For the second quarter of 2021, John Paulson held 5 million shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY), amounting to more than $156.6 million in worth and representing 3.73% of the fund’s total portfolio value. At the end of the second quarter of 2021, 57 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $3.62 billion in Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY), up from 52 in the previous quarter worth $3.41 billion.

On September 29, Evercore ISI analyst Stephen Richardson upgraded Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NASDAQ:OXY) to Outperform from In Line with a price target of $40, up from $35.

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Disclosure: None. Billionaire John Paulson’s 10 Biggest Stock Picks is originally published on Insider Monkey.