George Soros Dumps Airlines, Sticks With Ackman On J.C. Penney

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Legendary hedge fund manager George Soros made some interesting moves last quarter according to his most recent 13F filing. The billionaire sold off much of his stock in airlines in the three months, and made some interesting moves in positions he shares with Bill Ackman.

George Soros Dumps Airlines, Sticks With Ackman On J.C. Penney

Following Ackman’s footsteps

Soros famously bought a big stake in J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) a few months ago. Bill Ackman also holds more than 17% of the struggling retailer. Soros has boosted his stake up to almost 20 million shares in the second quarter.

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Soros is betting against Ackman

Meanwhile, Soros is betting against Ackman in his campaign to see shares in Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) lose their value. Ackman is shorting the multi-level marketing company. Soros is going long. His stake now stands at close to 5% of the company. Soros appears to be following what Ackman is doing, though he doesn’t always agree with his theses.

Airline sale

George Soros also made moves on large holdings he had in airlines in the last quarter. The hedge fund manager sold out of his position in US Airways completely during the quarter. He also sold a large amount of the stock he holds in Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL). The two companies are currently seeking regulatory approval for a merger.

The two airlines have performed very well so far in 2013. Shares in Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) have risen by more than 65% so far this year, while American Airlines stock has added more than 17% to its value in the same period. Soros may be starting to sell out of the companies in order to take the gains made from the merger hype, while shedding the risk of regulatory problems.

Both stocks have underperformed in the last month with Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) shares falling by a couple of percentage points. Shares in US Airways have fallen by more than 12% in the period, signaling that Soros got out of the stock at the right time.

Other interesting moves made by Soros in the period included his exit of a position in the gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) (NYSEARCA:GLD), and in oil field services company Halliburton.

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