Robert Karr (Trades, Portfolio) is one of the managers known as “Tiger Cubs” because of their association with legendary HF manager Julian Robertson (Trades, Portfolio). Before starting his own hedge fund, Karr was a managing director at Tiger Management, and provided services for a large portfolio of Asian equities. Karr’s expertise in the Far East comes from the knowledge he gained while living in Tokyo, Japan during this time. Karr learned a lot about Asian equities living in Tokyo, and after four years with Tiger Management, Karr opened the New York-based Joho Capital in 1996, with additional offices in Tokyo and Taipei, Taiwan. He is known for his unique investment strategy that focuses on a small concentration of top-notch companies, especially in tech.
His top three buys over the last quarter were:
- VECO: Veeco (VECO) instruments is a semiconductor company. The company designs, manufactures and markets equipment primarily sold to make light emitting diodes and hard-disk drives, as well as for emerging applications such as concentrator photovoltaics, power semiconductors, wireless components, micro-electro-mechanical systems and other next-generation devices. Its two business segments are LED & Solar and Data Storage. Joho Capital added 2,535,933 shares to its stake, for a portfolio impact of 3.59%. The stock is 20% higher than the average of the high-low prices over the last quarter. The position is ranked fifth in this highly concentrated portfolio and has been built aggressively over the past two quarters, pointing to a high confidence level.
- WUBA: 58.com (WUBA) is also known as the Craigslist of China. Here is the description from the Nasdaq website: “We operate the largest online marketplace serving local merchants and consumers in China, as measured by monthly unique visitors on both our www.58.com website and mobile applications, according to the iResearch Report. Our online marketplace enables local merchants and consumers to connect, share information and conduct business. Our large and growing user base, merchant network and massive database of local information create a powerful network effect that enables us to maintain our leadership position.” Joho Capital bought a total of 920,000 shares in the company for a 2.4% impact on their portfolio. John Burbank (Trades, Portfolio) and Columbia Wanger (Trades, Portfolio) are among the recent gurus buying the stock.
- VIPS: Vipshop Holding (VIPS) is China's online discount retailer. It offers high-quality branded products to consumers in China through flash sales on its vipshop.com website. Flash sales represent a new online retail format combining the advantages of e-commerce and discount sales through selling a finite quantity of discounted products or services online for a limited period of time. Since its inception in August 2008, it has attracted a large and growing number of consumers and popular brands. Robert Karr (Trades, Portfolio)’s position amounted to 765,500 shares, effectively doubling his position from the third quarter. The stock has skyrocketed since the initial purchase (+128%) but Joho Capital seems to still like the position.
Disclaimer: I am long both VECO and WUBA.