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SAC Boosts Stakes in Yahoo, Air Products in Third Quarter

SAC Capital Advisors LP, billionaire Steven A. Cohen’s hedge-fund firm that pleaded guilty last week to securities fraud, boosted its holdings in Yahoo! Inc. and Air Products & Chemicals Inc. in the third quarter.

SAC bought 6.7 million shares of Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo and owned 7.6 million shares valued at $251 million as of Sept. 30, making it his largest equity investment, according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm purchased 1.5 million shares of Air Products, based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, holding a stake worth $154.7 million.

Cohen’s firm, based in Stamford, Connecticut, this month agreed to pay $1.8 billion to settle insider-trading charges after the U.S. government accused it of engaging in an unprecedented scheme lasting more than a decade. The market value of SAC’s U.S.-listed equity holdings declined by about $2 billion in the second quarter as clients pulled their money amid the government’s probe of the firm.

In the third quarter, the firm’s stock holdings fell by $123 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

SAC added to its stakes in Intuitive Surgical Inc., a maker of robotic-surgery devices; energy company Tesoro Corp.; and retailer Kohl’s Corp. The firm reduced positions in drilling lease owner Continental Resources Inc., Inc. and Facebook Inc.

SAC’s main fund returned about 16 percent this year through October, a person with knowledge of the returns said last week. Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for SAC at Sard Verbinnen & Co., declined to comment on the filing.

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