Why These Stocks Will Suffer From SAC Capital's Legal Woes

Michael Teague  |

The long rise and snowballing decline of SAC Capital Advisors LP has been one of the bigger stories of this year.

The legendary investment fund began 2013 with $15 billion in assets, with $6 billion of that belonging to outside investors. By the beginning of June, however, investors had requested that nearly all of that be returned, as the company was confronted with civil and then criminal charges from the SEC. One of the more high-profile examples of this occurred when the well-known Blackstone Group yanked the entirety of its more than $500 million in investments from the firm.

As of June 30, SAC had closed down its Parameter Capital trading unit, reducing its positions by $2 billion in anticipation of repaying investor withdrawals for the remainder of the year. The future of the fund is uncertain, especially after US attorney Preety Bharara upped the ante with the introduction of criminal charges on July 25. Prior to embittering of relations between Cohen and SAC on the one hand, and Federal regulators on the other, there was a great deal of speculation that SAC would simply contract into a fund whose sole responsibility would be the management of the Cohen family fortune.

That possibility now seems more remote, however. Early this week, Bloomberg reported that the 21-year old SAC was refusing requests to return cash early, with rumors of coming layoffs swirling about, though the firm has been doing its best to behave as though everything will continue on its normal course once recent problems have been resolved.

With all of the drama and uncertainty surrounding the matter, the fund does indeed appear to be operating as best it can. As of July 30, SAC had a total of 1,917 positions worth $16.9 billion. 426 of those positions were new, while overall 984 positions had been increased, and 931 had been reduced. The fund had sold off 369 of its holdings.

Of the holdings SAC had exited completely by the July 30 13-F filing deadline, the biggest included:

-Panera Bread Co. (PNRA) , down 7 percent over the last month to $173.72.
-Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF) , up 20 percent over the last month to $21.68
-The Dow Chemical Company (DOW) , up nearly 7 percent over the last month to $36.95.
-Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD) , up half of a percent over the past month to $33.43.

The holdings that SAC had reduced the most by July 30 include:

-Repros Therapeutics Inc. (RPRX) , down nearly 6 percent over the last month to $19.80.
-Praxair Inc. (PX) , up 0.4 percent over the last month to $117.47.
-Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. (ENDP) , up 0.05 percent over the past month to $38.50.
-Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) , down 2.65 percent over the past month to $385.45.

The fund had increased its holdings the most in the following stocks:

-Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF ($GDX), up 10.5 percent over the past month to $30.33.
-Select Comfort Corporation (SCSS) , down 8.25 percent over the past month to $21.95.
-CNH Global NV (CNH) , up 4.9 percent over the past month to $46.95.
-HCA Holdings Inc. (HCA) , down 1.6 percent over the past month to $38.58.

The fund started the largest new positions in the following companies:

-U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. (SLCA) , down 3.73 percent over the past month to $22.47.
-EXCO Resources Inc. (XCO) , down 13.8 percent over the past month to $7.43.
-Intelsat S.A. (I) , up 5.8 percent over the past month to $22.38.
-Pinnacle Foods Inc. (PF) , up 3.5 percent over the past month to $26.76.

For the full list of SAC Capital’s holdings and activity as of July 30 of this year, the NASDAQ website has all of the information.

[Image: A Panera Bread location in Chicago, Illinois. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

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