GMO Buys Google Inc, Safeway Inc, DIRECTV; Sells Netflix, Inc.

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Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloon & Co. LLC (GMO) is a privately held investment manager co-founded by Jeremy Grantham. He serves as chief investment strategist of the firm. According to GMO, it has $117 billion of assets under management (AUM) at present.

During the second-quarter, GMO disclosed that its equity portfolio had a market value of around $36.83 billion based on its 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The investment management firm initiated a position across 46 new companies and sold out its stake in 116 equities. GMO increased its stockholdings in 144 companies and reduced its position in 274 stocks.

GMO’s top five new stockholdings

GMO’s five largest new stockholdings during the second-quarter include the Class C shares of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY), DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV), Hillshire Brands Co (NYSE:HSH) and Ally Financial Inc (NYSE:ALLY).

During the quarter, GMO acquired 910,810 shares of Class C shares of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) worth approximately $523.9 million. The stock accounts 1.42% of its equity portfolio.

The search engine giant recently joined a consortium of global companies to invest $300 million in an undersea cable system called FASTER to boost the internet speed in Asia.  Urs Hölzle, the senior vice president of technical infrastructure at Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) said FASTER has a design capacity of 60Tbps, which is ten million times the cable modem. The project would connect major cities in the West Coast including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland to the two coastal cities in Japan—Chikura and Shima.

GMO acquired 1,085,800 shares of Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) worth approximately $37.28 million. In July, the shareholders of the company approved its proposed merger with Albertsons, which is owned by Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm. The transaction is worth $9 billion.

The investment management firm purchased 426,600 shares of DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) worth around $36.26 million. The satellite television service provider recently reported that its earnings for the second-quarter increased 35% to $1.59 per share driven by  strong growth Latin America.

GMO bought 284 shares of Hillshire Foods Co (NYSE:HSH) and 666,500 shares of Ally Financial Inc (NYSE:ALLY). Its stakes in the companies have a market value of $17.69 million and $15.95 million, respectively.

Hillshire Brands recently reported its fourth-quarter financial results with 10.7% growth in net sales. The company was acquired by Tyson Foods, Inc (NYSE:TSN) for approximately $7.7 billion. Commenting on the merger, Hillshire Brands president and CEO Sean Connolly said, “We are excited to move forward with Tyson Foods. We have been working closely with the Tyson team to plan out the successful integration of the two companies and look forward to executing the merger,”

On the other hand, Ally Financial posted improved second-quarter quarter financial results due to the rise of its top line, a decline in provision for loan losses and lower controllable expenses. The company posted a net income of $323 million or $0.54 per share compared with a loss of $927 million or $2.73 per share during the year-ago quarter.  Its total net revenue increased 17.7% to $1.28 billion.

Sold out positions

GMO sold its entire stake in The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), Sears Holding Corp (NYSE:SHLD), Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB), Netflix, Inc (NYSE:NFLX), and NRG Energy Inc (NYSE:NRG) and others.

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