Julie Lamb

About the Author Julie Lamb

Julie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a focus on creative writing from the University of Louisville.

See Hedge Fund Whiz Benjamin Smith’s Trades in Tech: Tesla Inc (TSLA), Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), Snap Inc (SNAP)

Benjamin Smith is a co-founder of privately owned Laurion Capital Management, where the trading whiz manages 5.9 billion dollars in regulatory AUM, with the latest SEC filing indicating $3 billion disclosed in positions. In other words, between December and March, the hedge fund’s most recent move comprises 60% of the manager’s regulatory AUM. This could stem from key plays in the tech world, with Smith vying for the likes of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), and Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP).

Between investments in public equity to fixed income to worldwide commodities markets, all while dabbling in ETF’s coupled with ADR’s, Smith knows how to rely on the numbers to make the best investment choices. Laurion Capital Management operates on a one-two punch of quantitative-meets-qualitative analysis and internal research, which has fueled its success since its first days in 2005.

Let’s take a closer look:

Tesla Gets a Rev Up

Laurion Capital Management bumped up its stock in Tesla in a big way, taking the shares up 3,068% to 50,675 shares total in the electric car giant, now worth $14,103,000. It makes sense, considering the stock has been on a near 80% surge forward ever since 2017 rolled around, closing in soon on trading at $400.

However, CEO Elon Musk’s brainchild hit a block in the road along the way, just having fled back to $360 after its momentum had been on the accelerated rise. When choosing to invest in Tesla, investors know full and well that the volatile quakes are a necessary byproduct, a double-edged sword that can also slice to the giant’s favor. Perhaps a sudden skyrocket could be just as easily store again as quickly as the stock tripped. Yet, for now, all signs are pointing to earnings for the next compass as to whether Tesla will soar or stumble.

However, when taking under account the great cash lengths Musk must go to in preparation for the greatly anticipated Model 3 launch, earnings are not going to be turning a profit for the giant just yet. Musk had called for a massive 50,000 in deliveries for the first half of 2017. There are those that predict a shortcoming of those lofty expectations (which are traditionally Musk’s style), with Tesla potentially bringing in below 25,000 vehicles. One must always look at the grander context, and if vehicles come in at not full throttle this quarter, perhaps it is a more positive indication of the emphasis on the Model 3 release.

As of present, little is known about the mass-market Model 3 and that apprehension could be puncturing the bullish balloon the stock had been experiencing. Time will tell if the sliding ladder for shares tends to venture back on the up and up and if expectations will ultimately be met.

The rest of the investment-verse is more reluctant on the giant, considering TipRanks analytics exhibit TSLA as a Hold. Out of 18 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 6 are bullish on Tesla stock, 7 remain sidelined, and 5 are bearish on the stock. With a loss potential of 21%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $285.27.

Time for More Advanced Micro Devices Shares

Smith eyes advantage in AMD shares, lifting his hedge fund’s holding in the chip giant by 865% to 896,375 shares worth $13,042,000. Yet, just last Wednesday, the giant’s backers pulled back on the stock, with some pointing to mounting fears of the crypto-currency graphics dynamics, questioning how steep the competition will be for AMD.

Specifically, AMD’s most cutthroat shark rival Nvidia is reportedly bringing forth two new GPU offerings to the table, set for a third quarter release with an arrow shooting straight towards the cryptocurrency arena. Not only that, but Nvidia is sharpening its competitive edge in every way possible, introducing more cost-friendly alternatives to those of AMD’s, which could leave AMD investors slightly anxious.

With fresh cards from Nvidia underway, AMD’s role on the cryptocurrency coin leaderboard could be shaken, at least from the viewpoint of the Susequehanna firm. AMD stock may have seen a 17% step year-to-date, but its competitor Nvidia has seen a double rally.

Overall, it would appear consensus sentiment matches well with Smith’s eager chip eyes, with TipRanks analytics showing AMD as a Buy. Based on 22 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 9 rate a Buy on AMD stock, 10 maintain a Hold, while 3 issue a Sell on the stock. The 12-month average price target stands at $13.11, marking a 5% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

Snap Gets a Trigger Pull

Smith sees a buying opportunity in Snap stock, leading Laurion Capital Management to initiate in the popular Snap app parent company at 700,000 shares worth $15,771,000. Yet, has beginning enthusiasm that swirled around Snap’s IPO dimmed in the light of day, with Facebook fresh on the company’s heels and investors growing increasingly wary?

In fact, though shares once hit above $29 in trading after Snap’s introduction to the investment appetite, Wall Street is just as quickly losing confidence, with the stock dipping down to its starkest bottom from the initial public offering price.

True, Snap reigns as king amongst millennials, who enjoy all of Snap’s innovative camera app features, offering an original spin on the way people can bridge communication. What of profitability though? Even if Snap is a hot button phone app, there is real concern the stock never turns a profit. Paired with waning user growth, investors and analysts cannot help but highlight areas for concern.

Back in May, the company released its first quarterly print, indicating narrowing revenue growth rather than the kind of earnings that investors had been hoping to witness. However, Snap’s biggest setback could just be a game of praise that makes it difficult to initially live up to expectation, and investors should keep in mind this has happened to even the top players out there- including Snap’s chief competitor, CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook.

Most of the Street seems to side with Smith’s bullish stance, as TipRanks analytics indicate SNAP as a Buy. Out of 31 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 12 are bullish on Snap stock, 15 remain sidelined, and 4 are bearish on the stock. With a return potential of nearly 23%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $21.84.

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