By Paul Rekoff
John Paulson's Paulson & Co. hedge fund has taken new positions in Verizon Communications and CBS Corp. but stood pat on its extensive gold holdings in the first quarter, according to a securities filing Thursday.
The biggest new position the firm took in the period came in Verizon, buying 8,742,725 shares worth $415.9 million by the end of the quarter. The hedge fund also initiated a 4,476,600-share stake in CBS, worth $276.6 million.
The firm also increased its holdings in General Motors by 115% (taking a $138 million position by the end of the quarter); Cobalt International Energy Inc. by 108% (owning $499.3 million in shares) and American Airlines Group Inc. by 43% (a $445.2 million stake).
Paulson & Co. also cut its stake in Hess Corp. by 62%, down to 1,750,000 shares.
Paulson has been one of the most bullish investors in gold, but his firm made no change in the size of its holdings in the gold exchange-traded fund SPDR Gold Trust. Its value grew 6.4% in the quarter.
The positions were revealed in a 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, a quarterly requirement for investors managing more than $100 million. The report indicates the number of shares held and the value of each stake at the end of the quarter.
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