David Tepper, billionaire leader of Appaloosa Management, has a stellar track record as a hedge fund manager. Though there are more and more hedge fund managers on the scene all the time, and hedge funds as a group have historically been known for their outsized returns, Tepper seems to actually be one of a dwindling number of managers able to continually bring in those impressive returns. Appaloosa was the top-earning hedge fund in 2009, following a series of successful bets in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. As of 2017, Appaloosa oversees about $17 billion in AUM, according to Value Walk, and the most recent 13F filing reveals that times are still good for Tepper and his fund.

Up 5.6%, Significant Turnover

According to the 13F for Q3 of 2017, Tepper's fund has a stock portfolio valued at almost $7.1 billion, which is up by 5.6% over the previous quarter. For the same period, the S&P 500 gained about 3.9%, so Appaloosa has outpaced the benchmark, which many hedge funds have struggled to do in recent quarters. Further, the QoQ portfolio turnover for Q3 was 18.1%, suggesting that Appaloosa allows a significant percentage of its portfolio to turn over each quarter. Compared to Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, which has a turnover rate of 2.1% for the same period, it shows how active Appaloosa is in buying and selling on a regular basis.

Big Buys Include XLF, NRG, MU

Appaloosa bought significant stakes in several different stocks as of last quarter. The largest purchase was nearly $210 million spent on SPDR Select Sector fund (XLF), which constituted 2.9% of the total portfolio as of the end of the quarter. Next up was a $184 million purchase in NRG Energy (NRG), followed by $163.4 million invested in Micron Technology (MU), and $161.3 million in Facebook (FB). With these latest purchases, MU occupies just shy of 10% of Appaloosa's total portfolio, while Facebook stands at 7.9%.

In the intervening time, since the end of the quarter in September, Micron Technology has climbed in value by about 15%, while NRG has risen in value by more than 13%.

Major Sells Include AGN, PNC

Lots of buys in an active portfolio means lots of sells as well, and Appaloosa sold sizable quantities of shares in several areas over Q3. The largest stake sold was a total of $127.4 million worth of stock in Allergan (AGN). That was followed up by nearly $116 million in PNC Financial Services Group (PNC), and $72.9 million worth of iShares (IBB). Since September's end, Allergan has fallen by more than 16%, while PNC is down more than 2%.

Overall, nearly all of the stocks that Tepper purchased in Q3 have been up so far since then, while nearly all of the stocks he sold have been down. He has proven once again his exceptional insight into future market movements.

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