Famed investing magnate, George Soros - the man who "broke the bank of England" by short selling 10 million British pounds in 1992 - went on something of a buying spree in the last quarter, purchasing shares in a broad swath of companies from nearly every sector of the market, according to disclosures made available at the beginning of last month. But in only a relatively small number of cases did he add to already existing positions: Consider those buys a vote of confidence. Here are several of the positions Soros added to last quarter, complete with their fundamentals and some relevant recent history. (For more on Soros, see George Soros: The Philosophy Of An Elite Investor.) IN PICTURES: World's Greatest Investors
"T" is for Telephone
Topping the list is ol' Ma Bell, AT&T (NYSE:T), which pays a very large 6.4% annual dividend and trades with a P/E of 12.6 times last year's earnings. The company has a market capitalization of $150 billion and was recently added to Soros' portfolio in quantity. Reports list him upping his prior stake by nearly 700% to a current 791,000 shares. AT&T beat analyst estimates in its most recent quarter and was reaffirmed by debt rating agency Fitch with a long term 'A' issuer default rating.
George, Meet Bill
The next large add-to on to Soros' recent acquisition list was none other than Microsoft Corporation (NYSE:MSFT), which currently trades with an annual yield of 2.2% and a trailing P/E of 14.6. Microsoft stock has performed very well for Soros recently, gaining more than 50% since March. In the last quarter, the renowned trader and philanthropist added 273% to his previous holdings, bringing his current stake to 321,660.
Microsoft, of course, is one of the world's largest public companies, with a market capitalization of $210 billion, and now, with search engine partner, Yahoo! (Nasdaq:YHOO), hopes to grow the franchise by stealing market share from industry leader, Google (Nasdaq:GOOG).
Gold on the Mind
Soros initiated his opening position in small-cap Allied Nevada Gold Corp. (AMEX:ANV) in the first quarter of 2009 with a modest 53,837 shares. He has since upped his stake 40-fold in the company (4242% to be exact) to hold 2,337,661 shares of the company's common stock. The shares have nearly doubled in price since March and currently stand at $8.25. Allied
Where the giants go should be of interest to the average trader. The three positions noted above are obviously companies that recently inspired ongoing confidence in Soros. Maybe they should in the rest of us, too.
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