It's becoming an annual tradition. Every year it seems—multiple times, in some cases—Leon Cooperman takes the stage to discuss his best investment ideas. And much like the plot in the Bill Murray movie "Groundhog Day," the themes of the Omega Advisors founder's presentations seem to repeat themselves time and again.
Cooperman, however, isn't cursed by Punxsutawney Phil's shadow to relive the same day over and over. Rather the longtime hedge fund manager is stuck—fortunately for his investors—in a perpetual loop of bullishness on equities, particularly in the U.S.
The former Goldman Sachs Asset Management CEO started Omega in 1991. When this year began it had $7.3 billion in assets under management, good enough for No. 73 in the Hedge Fund 100 ranking of the world's biggest hedge fund firms compiled by Institutional Investor's Alpha.
The firm's flagship fund returned between 27 and 28 percent last year and posted first-quarter gains of 9 percent to start 2013—putting it among the best-performing hedge funds.
Cooperman appeared at the first two Delivering Alpha conferences—the daylong, widely attended assembly of who's who in finance and investing. Co-hosted by Institutional Investor and CNBC, this year's edition of the fund-fest will take place on Wednesday, July 17, at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.
As he did in 2011, Cooperman touted stocks as "the best house in the financial asset neighborhood" while on the podium last year, adding it was still unclear if it's a good or bad neighborhood. He cited four factors for his "moderately constructive" view of the U.S. economy.
First was the belief that no recession was on the horizon; next the "extraordinarily accommodative monetary policy" the Federal Reserve was pushing; third, the reasonable valuation of companies; and last, the increased willingness of investors to take risks.
And, as he did during the first Delivering Alpha conference, Cooperman last year laid out 10 hot stocks he believed were primed to move upward. Once again he offered the crowd a wide range of sectors, from technology and financial services to energy, health care and media. Here's how Cooperman's top stock picks from Delivering Alpha 2012 did over the past year: