Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
Amazon Becomes Biggest Position at Steven Cohen's Point72By and
Billionaire also betting on Anadarko and Electronic Arts
Family office is in the midst of becoming a hedge fund firm
Steve Cohen’s family office, which is in the midst of transforming into a hedge fund, boosted Amazon.com Inc. into its biggest disclosed U.S. stock holding as of the end of the year.
Point72 Asset Management increased its stake in the online retailer by more than 12 percent, or about 36,000 shares, leaving it with a market value of $383.1 million, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday. Amazon was Point72’s third-largest stock holding in the third quarter, topped by Time Warner Inc. and Altaba Inc., but the firm ramped down both of those positions. Now its second- and third-biggest holdings are in Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Electronic Arts Inc.
The firm, which manages the multibillion-dollar fortune of Cohen, held 734 stocks in the last quarter after ditching 272 positions and starting 292, the filing shows. Its exposure to consumer discretionary and financial stocks increased by about 2 percent, while its allocation to health care decreased by the same percentage.
Point72 reported holding U.S. equities with a market value of about $18.5 billion as of Dec. 31, a figure that suggests the use of leverage, given that firmwide net assets totaled about $11 billion, according to its website. At the end of 2007, when Cohen’s firm reported holding common stocks with a market value of roughly $6.5 billion, it had about $15 billion in net assets.
The Stamford, Connecticut-based firm cut some of its largest stock holdings and replaced the shares with call options, a move that frees up capital and can increase the amount of leverage employed. Calls entitle the holder to buy stocks at a set price in the future for a defined period, typically ranging from several weeks to a year.
Point72 sold 4.38 million shares of Time Warner during the fourth quarter, reducing the stake to 102,350 shares. But it increased the number of calls held on Time Warner to 6.2 million as of Dec. 31 from 4.9 million as of Sept. 30.
The investment firm boosted its bet on Anadarko Petroleum during the fourth quarter to 5.8 million shares from 2.6 million at the end of September. It also held call options on 2.6 million Anadarko shares, up from 700,000.
Cohen, 61, is making his industry resurgence -- transforming his family office into a hedge fund, meaning it will manage external capital. He was banned from investing the money of other people for two years after his former hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, pleaded guilty to insider trading and paid a $1.8 billion fine.