Tags: Soros | REIT | energy | yield

George Soros Seen Putting Money Into REITs and Energy Yield Plays

By    |   Wednesday, 02 July 2014 11:41 AM EDT

George Soros holds at least five stocks that pay dividends of 3 percent or more. They can be smart dividend picks for investors, MarketWatch guest columnists Meena Krishnamsetty and Javier Hasse reported.

Soros, the billionaire investor and head of Soros Fund Management, has many stocks that pay dividends of more than 1 percent among his holdings, according to the duo from Insider Monkey, a publisher that follows the trades of hedge fund titans and other big investors.

Editor’s Note: Retire 10 Years Earlier With These 4 Stocks

When Insider Monkey isolated five of the highest-paying dividend plays among Soros’ lineup for special attention, they found some other hedge fund titans had also loaded up on shares of the same companies.

At the top of the list was American Capital Agency Corp., a REIT that makes leveraged bets on mortgage pass-through securities and collateralized mortgage obligations, and pays a dividend yield of 11.79 percent. Soros held a $32 million stake in the company, according to the most recent SEC filings, and Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn had an even bigger stake estimated at $112 million in it.

Soros is believed to be the largest hedge fund shareholder in Mack Cali Realty Corp., a self-administered, self-managed REIT, via a $35 million stake. Krishnamsetty and Hasse said other prominent hedge fund operators with stakes in Mack Cali include J. Alan Reid Jr. of Forward Management and Chuck Royce.

Mack Cali recently trimmed its dividend to 2.75 percent, but Insider Monkey speculates it will not be at that lower level for long. “Despite the decrease, the dividend is still quite generous and could be once again boosted in the future, to meet its average historical yields, which have surpassed 5.44 percent since 2009."

Center Point Energy, a domestic energy delivery company, is also on Soros' list. He held a $41 million stake and the company pays a dividend of 2.51 percent. Eric Mandelblatt’s Soroban Capital had a major investment in Center Point of about $217 million, according to Insider Monkey.

Kraft Foods Group recently started paying a dividend of 3.5 percent, and Soros amassed a $32 million stake in the food giant. Phil Gross and Robert Atchinson of Adage Capital Management and Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group were also investors.

Soros piled up a $34 million stake in Avalon Bay Communities, a REIT that invests in multifamily communities, Krishnamsetty and Hasse found. Noted hedge fund pros Jeffrey Furber and David E. Shaw also held significant stakes in Avalon Bay, which pays a 3.26 percent dividend.

The New York Times reported Soros has taken a turn toward being an activist investor with the recent 9.5 percent stake he has taken in Penn Virginia, an oil and gas company.
Soros’ firm released a note claiming Edward Cloues, Penn Virginia’s chief executive, has presided over “investor relations disasters” and is responsible for “egregious” strategic choices, the Times said.

The usual approach for activist investors is to press for management and operating changes at targeted companies under the pretext of maximizing shareholder value, and then to profit from the resulting rise in the stock price.

Penn Virginia’s stock has risen at least 13 percent since Soros’ firm disclosed its stake, which beats the dividend returns in the stocks named above. The Wall Street Journal reported Soros’ fund is pressing for the sale of the company, which presumably would send shares even higher.

Editor’s Note: Retire 10 Years Earlier With These 4 Stocks

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George Soros holds at least five stocks that pay dividends of 3 percent or more.
Soros, REIT, energy, yield
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 11:41 AM
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