Reading 13F-HR

Discussion in 'Trading' started by StopLoss, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. StopLoss


    Need a little help from someone with experience reading a 13F-HR. Similar questions were posted before:

    But no answer came out. I figured I could start a fresh thread.

    If I see this in a 13F:

    APPLE INC COM 037833100 2,069 18,200 SH SOLE 18,200
    APPLE INC COM 037833100 1,005 27,400 PUT SOLE 27,400

    I usually figure that's a straight up married put. So the manager is (or was at the time or purchase) long Apple with restraints since he spent on the put contracts. This one confuses me:

    BLOCKBUSTER INC CL A 093679108 2,921 1,425,096 SH SOLE 1,425,096
    BLOCKBUSTER INC CL A 093679108 59 1,186,100 CALL SOLE 1,186,100
    BLOCKBUSTER INC CL A 093679108 11 151,000 CALL SOLE 151,000
    BLOCKBUSTER INC CL A 093679108 6 250,000 CALL SOLE 250,000

    The 13F won't cover if the manager "wrote" calls right? So he's long BBI but why the three sets of calls? Is he just long the stock and has a long call position on top? Or is there no real way to tell what's going on?

  2. ????
  3. StopLoss


    The 13F-HR is a mandatory SEC filing in the US required by a lot of money managers to indicate large positions (over a certain %) in various instruments. Several websites (like: probably, I'm speculating), individuals and other money managers use these filings to see who's buying what.

    The report indicates plain share ownership as well as options positions, puts or calls. The shares are easy to track, the options contracts can be more confusing when trying to understand the intentions of the money manager. I was wondering if anybody had experience reading and understanding these reports.

    The columns for each positions are: Name, Title of class, Cusip, Value, Shares, SH/PUT/CALL, Investment Discretion, Other Manager (Sole, Shared or None).
  4. Neodude


    13Fs only show long positions. So you will never see a write, only a buy.

    Unfortunately without seeing his shorts (if any) the data in a 13F is meaningless unless the manager does Merger Arb or focuses primarily on a Long strategy.

    13Fs are the worst for trying to figure out what Vol arb funds are doing. Not only is the data stale by the time you see it, but most of the positions are part of a complex trade that is likely offset with shorts or thru complex OTC derivatives.

  5. Neodude


    Another word of caution, 13Fs are filed at the manager level, which brings in the additional confusion of trying to figure out how the positions are allocated amongst multiple funds.

    Take the example of the Citadel 13F below. Apple is one of their top holdings, however Citadel has a bunch of funds that specialize in various strategies, so you have no idea if these shares are an outright long position or if some of Citadel's funds are holding the shares as part of some complex volatility dispersion trade.

    Good luck
  6. StopLoss


    Thanks for all the info Neo.