Soros Pick J.C. Penney Just Can’t Catch a Break


After a rough go in recent days and weeks, today, things may finally be looking up on Wall Street. The midday gainers this Tuesday are Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS), Xylem Inc (NYSE:XYL) and YPF SA (NYSE:YPF), and the losers are Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO), International Tower Hill Mines Ltd (NYSEMKT:THM), and J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP).

Kors Leaps Ahead

Up +17.97% today is luxury apparel company Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS). It reported a +77% rise in fiscal third quarter profits and earnings of $229.6 million, up from $130 million one year ago. Not only is this a sign that Kors has been eating away at Coach’s market share, but it also makes Kors himself fashion’s newest billionaire. KORS is up +11.52% YTD and +275.68% since its December 2011 IPO. The fashion brand composes 3.19% of Steve Mandel’s portfolio and 0.68% of Jorge Lemann’s.

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Next up is Xylem, Inc (NYSE:XYL),  a manufacturer for water and waste applications that surged +8.38 midday. Although the company reported a Q4 2013 EPS profit decrease from $0.39 to $0.37, revenue rose from $969 million to $1.03 billion. The board of directors also raised the quarterly dividend by 10%. With just over 400,000 shares, XYL composes 0.12% of George Soros’ portfolio.

Perhaps the most surprising gainer on today’s list is YPF SA (NYSE:YPF), up +5.54%. Soros has a minor stake in this one as well. It has been a rough year for the Argentine energy giant, which is down nearly -30% YTD. Today’s surge comes on the heels of the announcement that YPF bought out partner Petrobras to take over full ownership of an exploration block in Argentine provinces Neuquen and Mendoza.

J.C. Penney falls despite gains

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) took the biggest dive midday, down -9.37%. The gaming company behind Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt reported adjusted earnings of $1.70 late Monday and sales of $767.7 million. That apparently hasn’t pleased investors, though, who have started to dump the stock in light of reports that the company is losing visibility and attractiveness. None of our billionaires were affected by this one.

Also taking a hit today is International Tower Hill Mines Ltd (NYSEMKT:THM), which plunged -8.55% and is under tough scrutiny from industry professionals. Although it owns some of the largest untapped gold mines in the country, analysts remain unconvinced that it’s a good investment given that all of its serves are in low-grade gold and the price of precious metal has been losing value steadily. Moreover, the business of mining comes with a lot of operation costs that hurt the bottom line. Of the billionaires tracked by iBillionaire, only John Paulson has a stake THM, which represents 0.02% of his fund.

Rounding out today’s list of midday losers is retail behemoth J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP). Soros, David Tepper and Thomas Steyer are at play here, J.C. Penney composing 1.93%, 0.10% and 0.09% of their portfolios, respectively. Even as it reported sales at locations open for at least a year rising two percent in Q4, it apparently wasn’t enough for the market. Given that J.C. Penney fell -32% the year before, this isn’t exactly a surprise. And investors weren’t likely impressed by its Super Bowl Twitter tactics, either.