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Biggest Hedge Fund Buys of September

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The final month of the third quarter so far saw funds GuruFocus tracks reporting only 13 buys of companies of which they own more than 5%, down from 22 in August, according to Real Time Picks.

As of Tuesday, September is shaping up to be the fifth lowest returning month for the S&P 500 index so far this year and the best month since June, when the index advanced 6.89%. The inched up 1.31% in July and registered its second down month of the year in August, declining 1.81%. Year to date, investors have enjoyed a 19.19% climb in the S&P 500, putting it on course for its best year since 2017, when it gained 19.42%.

So far in September, the three largest buys from investors GuruFocus tracks were made by Paul Singer (Trades, Portfolio)'s Elliott Associates, John Paulson (Trades, Portfolio) and Seth Klarman (Trades, Portfolio).

Singer's Elliott Management, one of the world's largest activist hedge funds, manages about $38.2 billion across a range of strategies, including equities, hedge and arbitrage, distressed debt, commodities and others.

On Sept. 6, it boosted by 89.2% its position in CorMedix Inc. (CRMD), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of infections and inflammatory diseases. The increase in its position related to Elliott's ownership of preferred stock in the company, where it is the largest shareholder. Elliott exchanged certain securities of the company and $2 million for newly created Series G preferred stock, as the company announced on Aug. 14. The Series G stock is convertible to up to 5,560,138 shares, the company said in the release.

The transaction allowed the company to shore up capital, be debt-free and reduced its outstanding warrants and preferred stock.

"We believe that, as we approach our next goal of receiving marketing approval of Neutrolin for the hemodialysis market and launching the product commercially in the U.S., this exchange substantially improves our attractiveness to investors and to potential strategic partners," CorMedix CEO Khoso Baluch said in a statement. "We appreciate the support we have received from Elliott in helping us complete this transaction."

Shares of CorMedix increased 15.54% year to date. Down 5.48% Tuesday, they closed at $7.59 per share.

John Paulson (Trades, Portfolio), head of hedge fund Paulson & Co., established a stake in Callon Petroleum Co. (NYSE:CPE) on Sept. 9. The investor took a 9.5% stake in Callon as part of an activist play to influence its merger with Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. (NASDAQ:CRZO). In a letter to the board, Paulson called the acquisition "value-destructive," noting the 36% decline in Callon's stock price since the deal was announced.

Instead, Paulson urged a sale of the pure-play Permian oil producer, which he suggested could enhance Callon's value relative to its share price by 64%.

Paulson's purchases of his 21,593,523 shares occurred over the month through Aug. 15 at prices ranging between $4.12 and $5.7 per share. The stock has declined 31.15% year to date. With a 0.89% gain Tuesday, shares closed at $4.55 each.

Last, widely followed value investor Seth Klarman (Trades, Portfolio) bumped up his holding in Translate Bio Inc. (NASDAQ:TBIO), a company that develops treatments for diseases caused by protein or gene dysfunction, by 42.96% on Sept. 18. Translate Bio is an activist investment for Klarman's firm Baupost Group, and he may engage with management about the company's operations, according to filings.

Though one of the smaller of Klarman's health care positions, he has been building a stake in it for over a year. Since starting the position in the second quarter of 2018, he has purchased 12,544,239 shares for an investment of $117.4 million. The holding also included numerous purchases made from July 31 through Sept. 4. Then, on Sept. 18, he acquired an additional 5 million shares in an underwritten registered offering for $50 million.

Klarman's third-quarter purchases occurred at prices ranging from around $7.90 to $10. Translate Bio shares rose 39.52% year to date. After a 1.72% fall Tuesday, they closed at $10.27 per share.

See more of investors' largest buys and sales at Real Time Picks here.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.