David Einhorn has made an impressive name for himself with his Greenlight Capital Re, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLRE) and his recent lucrative, although brief career with Lehman Brothers. What begin with a meager $900 K, Greenlight Capital Re, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLRE) has developed into one of the highest price to earning ratio investment firms in the industry.
What is most impressive about this hedge fund superstar is his ability to make significant profits on short sales. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) was Einhorn’s largest investment by the end of June 2011. The pharmaceutical giant recently traded at $17.45 with a 4.58% dividend yield. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) gained 4.55% over the past twelve months. PFE is capped at $136.1 billion with P/E ratio of 16.31. Davis Einhorn had $483 million invested in PFE shares.
When it comes to Wall Street superstars, Bill Ackman, at only 44 years old is somewhat of a young buck. But, don't let his age fool you. Within a very short time Mr. Ackman has turned his Pershing Square Capital Management firm into an investment powerhouse. Polite company may call his approach active investing. However, most consider him a corporate raider.
Ackman's largest holding, JC Penney saw a 13.85% loss during the last month and 25.43% drop during the last quarter, averaging a year-to-date return of -15.94%. The stock makes up nearly 20% of Pershing Square’s equity investments. JC Penny is currently trading at a P/E ratio of 16.58 and an estimated forward P/E ratio of 11.76.
You can't think about Wall Street superstars without thinking about Warren Buffett. He is not only an investment guru, he is legendary. Mr. Buffet has a proven record of wealth building through a strong value driven approach. He adheres to his tried and tested philosophy of buying low and selling high.
Warren Buffett argues that his largest holding, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) is a better investment than gold. This may sound shocking seeing they way the value of gold has risen lately. Slow growing The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) is currently at a P/E ratio of 19 with a $160 billion market cap. Buffet says the 2.9% dividend yield form The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) is a better investment than the 2.3% return over a ten year period offered by gold investments.
Dan Loeb's hedge fund firm, Third Point LLC has seen some notable changes recently. Eksportfinans ASA and Ally Financial (formerly known as GMAC) have secured positions in the top five. Gold and Yahoo, however still retain their positions at number one and two, respectively, in the firm's portfolio.
Third Point LLC has increased their stake in Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) Since increasing his stake in the third quarter, Dan Leob has had a stormy relationship with the company. Despite this relationship, on March 12 he once again increased his stake by 0.36%.
David Tepper, the founder of Appaloosa Management, has made a very successful career out of betting on distressed stocks. His strong track record proves he has a real talent for spotting 'diamonds in the rough.' His knack for seeing the potential of a stock has made him one of the richest men in the world.
Tepper decided to buy into Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) because the company has real growth potential. Although the company is only trading $19.85 with varying ranges between $16.40 and $31.12 during the past 52 weeks, there is sufficient evidence that the returns will improve. With a market cap of $11.1 billion, and a P/E ratio of 5.2, the stock may not look too enticing. On the plus side, it has a 1.4% profit margin and no significant debt issues.
John Paulson, founder of Paulson & Co., joined the ranks of George Soros and Warren Buffet when he capitalized on the mortgage meltdown and subsequent recession of 2007. His savvy made him one of the most successful hedge fund investors during that time.
SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) (NYSEARCA:GLD) was Paulson's largest investment by the end of March 2011. At this time, Paulson had $4.4 billion invested in GLD. He bought 31.5 million shares of the company in 2009 at approximately $79.80 to $97.80 per share. Recently, GLD traded at $158.29, which means a gain of 37.1% over the past 12 months.