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Holly LaFon
Holly LaFon
Articles (8902)  | Author's Website |

George Soros' Top 5 Buys of 3rd Quarter

The second most successful investment manager reports portfolio

George Soros (Trades, Portfolio), one of the world’s foremost investors, ceased managing investment funds in 2011 after earning about 20% average annual returns since founding Soros Fund Management in 1969. As the chairman of the firm’s second iteration managing family and foundation money, Soros and managers purchased 105 stocks in the third quarter and sold out of 70.

Soros’ long portfolio contains 219 common stock positions valued around $3.34 billion of the firm’s total $26 billion asset under management. The portfolio’s top sector weighting is in communications services, at 27.2% of the portfolio positions. Technology follows as the second biggest, composing 19.1%.

As of Dec. 2018, Soros Fund Management ranked as the second most successful hedge fund since inception, accumulating $41.8 billion in net gains since inception. In February, the firm announced it had recruited Dawn Fitzpatrick to the role of CIO, the firm woman at Soros Fund Management to hold the position.

Bearish on markets, Soros increased bets against the S&P 500 following Donald Trump’s presidential victory, telling the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, “Uncertainty is at a peak, and actually uncertainty is the enemy of long-term investment. I don’t think the markets are going to do very well. Right now they’re still celebrating. But when reality comes, it will prevail,” according to Bloomberg.

Soros’ thinking led to him shorting the market, which proved a wrong-way bet, as the S&P has soared 23.8% since Trump’s election on Nov. 8, 2016.

In the second quarter, Soros’ two of four top bets were against the PowerShares QQQ Trust Series 1 (QQQ), SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) and iShares Russell 2000 (IWM). Soros had trimmed those positions, dropping the iShares Russell 2000 short to $176.3 million from $356.8 million. His puts and calls against the S&P 500 had also declined to $50.3 million each from a $424.8 million put and $49.8 million call. The PowerShares QQQ Trust Series did not appear in his SEC filing for the third quarter.

In the third quarter, Liberty Broadband Corp. (NASDAQ:LBRDK) formed by far Soros’ largest position at 22.1% of the portfolio, followed by the second, Altaba Inc. (NASDAQ:AABA), at 5.57%.

Soros Fund Management’s five largest new buys for the quarter ended Sept. 30 were: Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE:CPB), SolarEdge Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:SEDG), Gridsum Holding Inc. (NASDAQ:GSUM) and Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ:SYNA).

Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA)

The firm purchased 1,084,500 shares of Comcast Corp., a 1.25% portfolio weight. The stock price for the third quarter averaged $39.

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Comcast Corp. has a market cap of $167.46 billion; its shares were traded around $35.83 Monday with a P/E ratio of 17.21 and P/S ratio of 2.07. The trailing 12-month dividend yield of Comcast Corp. stocks is 1.70%. The forward dividend yield of Comcast Corp. stocks is 1.74%. Comcast Corp. had an annual average earnings growth of 12.70% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Comcast Corp. the business predictability rank of 4.5-star.

Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE:CPB)

The firm purchased 571,416 shares of Campbell Soup Co., a 0.8% portfolio weight. The stock price for the third quarter averaged $51.

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Campbell Soup Co. has a market cap of $15.01 billion; its shares were traded around $49.96 Monday with a P/E ratio of 17.27 and P/S ratio of 1.95. The trailing 12-month dividend yield of Campbell Soup Co. stocks is 2.81%. The forward dividend yield of Campbell Soup Co. stocks is 2.82%. Campbell Soup Co. had an annual average earnings growth of 2.30% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Campbell Soup Co. the business predictability rank of 3-star.

SolarEdge Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:SEDG)

The firm purchased 695,305 shares of SolarEdge Technologies Inc., a 0.6% portfolio weight. The stock price for the third quarter averaged $25.

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Solaredge Technologies Inc. has a market cap of $1.67 billion; its shares were traded around $38.85 Monday with a P/E ratio of 23.40 and P/S ratio of 3.29.

Gridsum Holding Inc. (NASDAQ:GSUM)

The firm purchased 1,841,679 shares of Gridsum Holding Inc., a 0.57% portfolio weight. The stock price for the third quarter averaged $9.

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Gridsum Holding Inc. has a market cap of $285.55 million; its shares were traded around $9.30 Monday with and P/S ratio of 2.86.

Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ:SYNA)

The firm purchased 479,049 shares of Synaptics Inc., a 0.56% portfolio weight. The stock price for the third quarter averaged $45.

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Synaptics Inc. has a market cap of $1.29 billion; its shares were traded around $37.87 Monday with a P/E ratio of 78.89 and P/S ratio of 0.77. Synaptics Inc. had an annual average earnings growth of 16.90% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Synaptics Inc. the business predictability rank of 5-star.

About the author:

Holly LaFon
I'm a financial journalist with a master of science in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University.

Visit Holly LaFon's Website


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