It’s that time of year again. This week we’ve been treated to a deluge of 13F filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission as hedge funds and asset managers rush to meet the deadline for filing after quarter’s end.
The reports are to be filed no more than 45 days after the end of the quarter, and naturally, most funds leave it as late as possible before filing.
And while it’s not sensible to blindly follow those filing 13Fs into positions, it is always interesting to see what the world’s professional investors are buying and selling.
John Malone and EMC proved to be hedge fund favorites last quarter
There were a few key stand-out trends in the filings from Q2 of this year. Firstly, it looks as if the hedge fund industry has thrown its weight behind John Malone and businesses belonging to the billionaire. Of the 60+ funds tracked by Dataroma, six funds initiated new positions in Liberty LiLAC Group C and Liberty LiLAC Group A stock last quarter. Four funds brought positions in Liberty Global Inc.
Ten funds now hold positions in Liberty Global Inc C. Notable buys include; Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group, which reported a new 2.5 million share position in Liberty Ventures; Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, which reported new positions in LSXMK, LSXMA, LMCK, LMCA; Soros Fund Management added a new position in Liberty Broadband Corp; Passport Capital brought Liberty Global plc – Class C and; Jana Partners acquired a new stake in Liberty Broadband.
Other notable movements by hedge funds during the second quarter include Soros Fund Management’s sale of its significant stake in Barrick Gold, a holding initially acquired as George Soros predicted the end of the world and advised investors to seek safety in gold and gold-linked assets. The miner was previously the firm’s largest listed position. The family office sold most of the position but bought 240,000 shares of SPDR Gold Trust, an exchange-traded fund tracking the price of bullion.
Netflix was one of the stocks that seemed to fall the most out of favour with institutional investors. Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global Management sold its entire stake in the video streaming company. The stake was valued at $1.84 billion at the end of March but since then Netflix has underperformed losing 7% as the business has reported slowing subscriber growth. Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management also dropped its Netflix holding.
Bloomberg reports that Jeff Ubben’s ValueAct Capital Management has already booked a tidy profit on a large slug of shares in Morgan Stanley. The investment, valued at $987.2 million as of midyear, is now worth more than $1.25 billion according to Bloomberg, which cites a person familiar with the matter.
Elsewhere, as Carl Icahn acquired a new stake in drug maker Allergan, Third Point, and Viking Global trimmed their holdings. Lone Pine Capital sold off its Allergan holding during the second quarter. It seems as if Icahn is running against the crowd here.
Finally, barring the trading in Liberty, EMC Corp was one of the most actively traded stocks by hedge funds last quarter. Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group and Clint Carlson’s Carlson Capital added to stakes in the data storage company during the quarter while Paulson & Co. bought more than 10 million shares of EMC worth $273 million. EMC is Elliott Management’s largest holding. Och-Ziff Capital Management Group and Greenlight Capital sold during the quarter. EMC is currently in the process of being acquired by Dell Inc.
One more notable movement during Q2 was Bridgewater’s decision to triple its holdings in iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF, an exchange-traded fund tracking Brazilian stocks. The ETF is up around 70% this year. Then again its only a tiny percentage of AUM for the hedge fund so it might not even matter.