By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Soros Fund Management LLC took new positions in the energy sector in the fourth quarter, including stakes in Devon Energy Corp and Transocean Ltd, a regulatory filing showed Tuesday.
The hedge fund firm, which manages the investments of investor George Soros and his family, bought 385,497 shares of Devon Energy and 149,000 shares of Transocean in the fourth quarter, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The actions appear to be timely, as oil prices and energy stocks have rebounded this month after a months-long slump.
While Brent crude prices fell about 60 percent between June and January, they have rebounded more than 10 percent in February, with Brent crude hitting its highest this year on Tuesday at $63 a barrel. The S&P energy index, which had fallen about 20 percent between June and January, has rebounded more than 8 percent in February.
Soros's purchase of Transocean shares also came ahead of the company's announcement on Feb. 16 that its chief executive, Steven Newman, was stepping down. Transocean shares are up nearly 4 percent this year.
A Soros spokesman declined to comment.
The firm also dumped its stakes in technology companies Google Inc, Apple Inc and Intel Corp, while also liquidating positions in Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Netflix Inc during the quarter. By dumping the stake in Apple, the fund missed out on a 16 percent rally in the iPhone maker's shares this year.
Soros sold 17,142 class A Google shares and 67,572 class C shares, 1.1 million Apple shares and 3.9 million Intel shares. The fund, which disclosed a Yahoo Inc position in the third quarter, sold 3.2 million of its 5.1 million shares in the latest period.
Soros is not the only hedge fund to focus on Intel in recent months, as hedge fund manager Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates told cable television network CNBC in mid-January that he was betting against the company's shares.
Soros increased its General Motors Co. stake by 412,438 shares to 3.9 million shares, while also adding to its Herbalife Ltd position. General Motors shares have risen nearly 7 percent this year, while those of Herbalife have slumped 8.2 percent.
(Reporting By Sam Forgione; Editing by Jennifer Ablan and Steve Orlofsky)