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Valeant investor Viking Global reports winning year

Viking Global reports benchmark-topping numbers for long fund, equities, in 2015.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange underneath a board showing the name of Valeant Pharmaceuticals shortly before the opening of the markets in New York October 22, 2015.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange underneath a board showing the name of Valeant Pharmaceuticals shortly before the opening of the markets in New York October 22, 2015.

Not even Valeant's turbulent fourth quarter could hold back Viking Global in 2015.

Ole Andreas Halvorsen's Viking Global Equities fund posted returns of 8.3 percent and the Viking Long Fund saw gains of 4.5 percent for 2015, topping benchmarks and putting Viking in the position of being one of the few funds that made money last year, according to documents obtained by CNBC.com.

But its position in the troubled pharma company proved costly.

"Valeant, a stock we have owned since 2010, was our biggest loser in the quarter, costing each fund 1.6 percent after having been a top five contributor in 2011 and 2013," Viking said in its investor letter. "While we were disappointed by the revelations, our subsequent diligence suggested that the improprieties alleged in the media, such as operating without proper licenses, were isolated to Philidor and do not extend to other Valeant business lines."

Viking's letter went on to say that it increased its position in Valeant in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Viking's biggest loss-maker for the year was its investment in liquefied natural gas company Cheniere, according to the letter.

Winning investments included Alphabet, Amazon and an undisclosed short in an energy company that became "the most profitable position" for Viking Global Equities, the letter said.

Viking also promoted Ellis Whipple, whom the company had hired in May from Goldman Sachs, to the role of chief financial officer, according to the letter.

Viking Global declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.com