Mets owner Steve Cohen has adopted a defensive stock-picking strategy that’s plowing into safe havens including oil and casino properties as he looks to hedge against the slumping market, according to a report.
The 65-year-old hedge-fund magnate, who has an estimated net worth of $ 11.9 billion, has recently been focusing on so-called high-yield stocks, which are equities whose dividend yield is higher than the yield of any benchmark average, such as the US Treasury’s 10-year note.
Such stocks tend to outperform low-yield and no-yield securities during bear markets because investors consider them to be less risky.
On the face of it, it looks like a departure for Cohen, who as the head of the Point72 Asset Management has earned a reputation for making big, risky bets on volatile stocks.
During the first quarter of this year, Cohen’s fund bought up 633,800 shares of VICI Properties, a New York-based real estate investment trust, or REIT, that specializes in casinos, hotels, and racetracks, according to securities filings.
VICI was created in 2017 as part of a spin-off from Caesars Entertainment after that the company went into an $ 18 billion bankruptcy. VICI owns 10 resorts on the Las Vegas Strip encompassing 1.2 million square feet of casino space, more than 40,000 hotel rooms, and 6 million square feet of convention space.
In total, VICI’s portfolio includes 43 casinos; 450 restaurants, bars, and clubs; and four major golf courses. In April, VICI announced that it completed a $ 17.2 billion acquisition of MGM Growth Properties.
Shares of VICI Properties rose by nearly 2% as of 3 pm on Thursday. At almost $ 30 a share, Cohen’s stake in VICI amounts to some $ 18 million, according to the finance site TipRanks.
Cohen is also betting on BP, the world’s largest oil and gas producer whose market capitalization has been valued at $ 104 billion.
The Mets boss bought an additional 3,276,969 shares of BP. Cohen had already bought half a million shares of the company before his latest investment – bringing the value of his stake in the company to some $ 122 million.
Shares of BP rose around 1% on Wednesday. BP stock was trading at around $ 32.40 per share as of 3 pm on Wednesday.
Like most energy companies, BP posted impressive profits despite divesting from a 20% stake in the Russian firm Rosneft in the wake of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
In the first quarter of this year, BP reported a net profit of more than $ 6 billion – easily beating analyst estimates of $ 4.1 billion.