SAC Capital Continues 2014 Investment Push with PDC Energy

Tickers in this article: CROX PDCE

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- SAC Capital Advisors is continuing to put its money to work in 2014, even as former employees of the company remain ensnared in a multi-year insider trading probe that has cast a cloud over its founder Steven A. Cohen.

SAC Capital disclosed on Monday it has taken a 5.1% stake in independent oil and gas driller PDC Energy , through a stock investment worth in excess of $80 million at Monday closing share prices.

The hedge fund, which recently took an over 5% stake in struggling footwear manufacturer Crocs , didn't disclose any activist intent when making its PDC Energy holding public.

SAC Capital had a rough 2013, including a guilty plea by the hedge fund on multiple counts of securities fraud, an SEC order against the fund's founder Steven A. Cohen and, most recently, the criminal conviction of Michael Steinberg, once one of SAC's top portfolio managers, on multiple counts of fraud.

Another former portfolio manager, Matthew Martoma, is currently standing trial on allegations that he made trades on inside information while at SAC Capital. Martoma has pleaded not guilty.

Those probes have effectively shut SAC Capital to outside investor money, meaning that the firm's recent investments are done on behalf of Cohen himself. Cohen is reported to have paid the bulk of the over $1 billion in fines SAC Capital has agreed to pay to settle lawsuits brought forward by the Department of Justice.

Nevertheless, the fund in its current state still manages Cohen's multi-billion dollar net worth, making it an influential investor.

Denver-based PDC Energy shares were little changed in after-hours trading. The company closed Monday trading nearly 3% lower at $46.67.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York