Business magnate and philanthropist George Soros is known for operating one of the most profitable hedge funds, Soros Fund Management LLC. Known as the “Man Who Broke the Bank of England” in 1992, Soros is one of the most iconic figures in the finance world. He once notably commented, “We [at Soros Fund Management] use options and more exotic derivatives sparingly. We try to catch new trends early and in later stages we try to catch trend reversals. Therefore, we tend to stabilize rather than destabilize the market. We are not doing this as a public service. It is our style of making money.” To stay on par with Soros’ profitable hedge fund, here are some of the biggest changes the fund made to its portfolio in the last quarter.
It’s been one year since the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) went public with its record-breaking IPO, and about ten months since the company began its decline to recent lows. In the last quarter, Soros greatly reduced his holdings in the Chinese e-commerce company by 98%. He now holds about 59,000 shares worth $3.8 million, though this makes up only 0.04% of his portfolio. It’s also worthwhile to note that as Soros shed his BABA shares, he picked up over 300,000 shares of rival company JD.com. Alibaba has suffered as a result from the faltering Chinese economy as government officials try to stave off a full-blown recession. The company has faced challenges along the way, such as counterfeit good scandals and measures to curb the lucrative selling of lottery tickets in adherence with Chinese regulations. Despite recent lows, the majority of analysts polled by TipRanks; 20 out of 22; remain bullish on the stock while the remaining two are on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for Alibaba is $92.66, marking a 38% potential upside from current levels.
Soros’ hedge fund loaded up on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares last quarter, increasing its holding by nearly 2,000%, worth approximately $234.37 million. The social media website is now one of the largest stocks in his portfolio at 2.18% of total holdings. Facebook’s average share price in the last quarter was $83.10, meaning Soros has made a +5.45% return on the stock since it was purchased. Facebook seems to be a crowd favorite as analysts are overwhelmingly bullish on the company. Out of the 40 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last three months, 37 are bullish on Facebook, two are neutral, and one is bearish. The majority of analysts are bullish on the company due to its impressive revenue growth, omnipresent popularity, and ability to reach untouched corners of advertising. The 40 analysts have an average 12-month price target of $111.65, marking a 19% potential upside from current levels.
After buying shares of Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:JUNO) in the first quarter, Soros turned around and dumped all of them shortly after. Juno is an investigational immune-oncology company with no FDA-approved products… yet. The company has several pipeline drugs in Phase 1 and 2 testing. Many speculate that Soros shied away from the company due to its four billion-dollar market cap; a debatable overvaluation for a company lacking a portfolio of FDA-approved treatments. Like many biotechnology stocks, Juno shares have a volatile history having jumped back and forth from highs and lows in the past year ranging from $40 per share to $70. Soros dumped Juno in the second quarter when it was trading at an average price of $56.18. However according to TipRanks, most biotechnology analysts remain optimistic on the future of Juno considering all four analysts polled in the last quarter recommend buying the biotech stock. The average 12-month price target between the four analysts is $67, marking a 62% potential upside from current levels.
Soros increased his holdings in Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:CY) by 20%, now holding approximately 15.9 million shares of the company worth $162.32 million, comprising 1.5% of his whole portfolio. Many analysts have been apprehensive about the semiconductor sector as the price and supply of DRAM and NAND chips fluctuates due to decreasing popularity of PCs and consolidation within the sector. One can assume that Soros’ recent stake in the company is a signal of confidence in its future prosperity. Most analysts would agree: according to TipRanks, all four of the analysts who have rated Cypress Semi in the last three months are bullish on the stock. The average 12-month price target between the analysts is $17.75, marking a 82% potential upside from current levels.
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