(Adds details on Paulson & Co., ValueAct)
BOSTON, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals got a small shot in the arm late in 2015 when a number of big-name investors made new bets or added to their existing positions at a time when the embattled drug company’s stock price was cheaper than it had been in months.
In the last three months of 2015, hedge funds including Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management, Barry Rosenstein’s Jana Partners, Laurion Capital Management and Okumus Capital made new bets on Valeant, according to new filings released on Tuesday.
And holders including John Paulson’s Paulson & Co, Viking Global Investors, Brave Warrior and Hound Capital added to their positions, the releases, called 13-F filings, show. The filings detail what fund managers owned at the end of the fourth quarter and while they are backward looking, they are closely watched for hints on how hedge funds moved.
Paulson’s fund owned 13.2 million shares at the end of the fourth quarter, having raised it from 8.9 million shares at the end of the third quarter.
Valeant became one of the most pummeled stocks late last year when questions about its business practices and accounting practices spooked investors and pushed the share price down some 70 percent from its August 2015 high. This year the stock price has dropped 10.25 percent.
But with the share price having traded as low as $70 a share, some investors felt Valeant, which made its name with fast paced acquisitions, was on sale and ripe to be snapped up.
Jana, which had invested in Valeant earlier but got out in time for the big drop, bought 1.6 million shares in the last quarter. Coatue bought 1.7 million shares while Laurion bought 2.1 million shares.
Brahman Capital nearly doubled its holding to own 8.1 million shares at the end of the quarter while Viking added 2.8 million shares to own 7.8 million shares. Brave Warrior added 674,439 shares to own 6.2 million shares.
To be sure there were also investors who exited the stock for good. Visium Asset Management and Maverick Capital exited while Tiger Ratan sold 317,561 shares of the stock and added 300,000 shares of call options.
ValueAct, an activist fund in San Francisco that has two seats on the company’s board and has been a long-time investor, kept its holding unchanged at 14.9 million shares. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Andrew Hay and Alan Crosby)