Hedge Funds Reshuffled These Tech Bets
The overall technology sector weakened in the second quarter, but as recent filings of major hedge funds show, many large investment firms took the opportunity to re-shuffle their positions in some of the biggest and well-known companies.
Late Tuesday, many institutional investment managers filed their mandatory 13-F with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The 13-F is a quarterly report of equity holdings required by managers that oversee more than $100 million in qualifying assets. The form must be filed within 45 days of the end of each quarter. The 13-F provides a peek at what hedge funds did in the previous quarter, but investors should keep in mind that hedging and trading strategies of each fund are still unknown.
Listed below are details on how popular hedge funds managed their technology investments in the second quarter of 2012:
Warren Buffett, one of the world’s wealthiest people, is known for being a buy and hold type of investor. However, his firm Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKA) completely sold out of its Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) stake, just having bought into the computer chip firm three quarters ago. At the end of the first quarter, Berkshire held 7.7 million shares valued at $217.8 million. The decision to sell was most likely made by Todd Combs, who conducts moves valued under $1 billion. Berkshire increased its positions in Viacom (NYSE:VIAB) and International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM).
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It has been a glitchy ride for Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) stock to say the least. While the social-media company only traded publicly for less than two months in the second quarter, it plunged 18 percent. However, the company’s debut on the Nasdaq attracted the attention of Soros Fund Management, a privately held hedge fund formerly managed by billionaire George Soros. As of the end of June, the firm befriended 341,000 shares of Facebook, valued at $10.6 million. If the fund still holds the same amount of shares today, it would be worth closer to $7.5 million. Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors and Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global Management also listed positions in Facebook at the end of the second quarter.
In addition to Facebook, Soros Fund Management added a new stake in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the world’s most valuable brand. The firm disclosed a position of 35,000 shares worth $20.4 million at the end of June. It also added to its Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) stake, bringing the total to 650,000 shares, or $33.7 million. However, the fund completely dissolved its position in Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX). Daniel S. Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund was also busy buying Apple shares, increasing its position to 425,000 shares in the second quarter, compared to 362,000 shares in the previous quarter. The firm cashed out 100 percent of its positions in Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), though.
While many funds appeared to add Apple shares to their portfolios, one of the loudest bulls trimmed shares in the tech giant. David Einhorn, founder and president of Greenlight Capital, decreased his stake in Apple to 1.454 million shares, compared to 1.463 million shares in the first quarter. Earlier this year, in a May letter to investors, Einhorn called Apple skeptics “misguided” and said Apple shares remained cheap. During the second quarter, Greenlight Capital increased its position in Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sprint (NYSE:S). Although Soros Management dissolved its stake in Seagate Technology, Einhorn raised his weighting in the company by 60 percent to 23.2 million shares in the second quarter, compared to 14.5 million shares in the first quarter. He also cut some of the biggest losers the tech sector has seen in recent years, including Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM).
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