John Paulson did quite well during the third quarter of 2013, it appears. After his long portfolio shrunk from close to $18 billion at the end of the first quarter to just over $14 billion at the end of the second, 2013 looked like it could be a rough year for the manager. In the third quarter the portfolio recovered and was worth around $15.5 billion at the end of September.

John Paulson

In the quarter Paulson stayed a big fan of gold. His single biggest holding was in SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) (NYSEARCA:GLD). More than $1.3 billion of his portfolio was tied up in that one gold asset alone, while he was still exposed to gold in other parts of his portfolio.

Paulson sells Sprint, buys Vodafone

Paulson made some of his biggest moves in the third quarter in telecommunications. He sold most of his stock in Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S). The company made up his single biggest holding, with 200,000,000 shares, at the end of the second quarter, but he held just 56,628,439 shares in the company, worth just over $350 million at the end of the third quarter.

Paulson took some of the money from his sale of Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S) and invested it in Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD) (LON:VOD). Paulson held 20,000,000 shares in Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD) (LON:VOD) at the end of the third quarter with a worth of more than $700 million. At the end of the second quarter Paulson held 2,808,900 shares in the company worth around $80 million.

Paulson also bought some more shares in T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS) during the third quarter. He held 19,435,149 shares in the company at the end of the third quarter, up from 16,674,449 at the end of the second quarter.

Paulson and gold

Paulson’s biggest stake at the end of the third quarter may have been in a gold ETF, but his exposure to the yellow metal didn’t end there. He held on to his position in NovaGold Resources Inc. (NYSEMKT:NG), and added just over 2 million shares to his holding of AngloGold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU).

Paulson also stayed heavily invested in financials in the third quarter. He kept his holdings in Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), and Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) solid in the third quarter and added a new position in Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF) after selling a position in the company in the second quarter.