Here's What This Massive Money Manager Is Buying

Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they've bought and sold. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.

Today let's look at Columbia Wanger Asset Management, which sports an overall portfolio valued at $20.6 billion as of Dec. 31, 2011. Founded in 1992, it mainly serves other investment companies, as well as pension and profit-sharing plans. A subsidiary of Ameriprise Financial, it manages mutual funds and favors small-cap and mid-cap companies.

Among Columbia Wanger's top five holdings, you'll find such names as lululemon athletica and Alexion Pharmaceuticals.

Interesting developments
So what does Columbia Wanger's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:

New holdings include Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYS: KOG) , which has considerable operations in the oil-rich Bakken field in North Dakota and Montana. It has been growing briskly, upping its revenue tenfold over just two years. It's expanding its operations, too, and some see it as a possible acquisition target.

Among holdings in which Columbia Wanger increased its stake was Seattle Genetics (NAS: SGEN) . The company has had a successful launch of its lymphoma treatment Adcetris, but it's unclear how quickly it will grow in coming years. The drug's ultimate results depend on how many patients take it, how long they stay on it, and how many more conditions it gains FDA approval to treat. The company also has a bunch of other treatments in its pipeline, targeting renal cell carcinoma, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and more.

Columbia Wanger reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Diamond Foods (NAS: DMND) and Silver Wheaton (NYS: SLW) . Diamond Foods fell from grace over the past year, enduring an accounting scandal and the departure of its CEO, as well as losing out on its bid for Pringles, which Procter & Gamble sold to Kellogg. The stock has lost about three-quarters of its value over the past year. Silver Wheaton's story is vastly different: It has been profiting from a rise in the price of silver, and it expects to up its production significantly over the next few years. My colleague Christopher Barker has high expectations for the company, but the folks at Columbia Wanger may be thinking that the stock has gotten ahead of itself.

Finally, Columbia Wanger unloaded several companies entirely, including Silver Standard Resources (NAS: SSRI) . The problem here is probably that the company is likely to be producing less in the near future and facing higher costs. It has also suffered some performance hiccups, with equipment problems leading to some plant shutdowns last year.

We should never blindly copy any investor's moves, no matter how talented the investor. But it can be useful to keep an eye on what smart folks are doing. 13F forms can be great places to find intriguing candidates for our portfolios.

If you're interested in more energy companies than just Kodiak Oil & Gas, check out our special free report "3 Stocks for $100 Oil," which will introduce you to three compelling stocks poised to profit from continued high oil prices.

At the time thisarticle was published LongtimeFool contributorSelena Maranjian,whom you canfollow on Twitter, owns shares of Procter & Gamble, but she holds no other position in any company mentioned.Click hereto see her holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of lululemon athletica.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Procter & Gamble and lululemon athletica. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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