Warren Buffett, George Soros, and other billionaire investors made significant changes to their portfolios in the first quarter, as they looked to capitalize on the coronavirus sell-off and weather the market meltdown.
David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital, Dan Loeb’s Third Point, Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square, and other high-profile funds revealed their purchases and sales in financial filings last week.
Here are 11 of the juiciest trades in the period.’
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sold 84% of its Goldman
The famed investor’s company threw a $5 billion lifeline to the investment bank in 2008, in exchange for preferred shares paying a 10% dividend, and warrants allowing it to buy a chunk of Goldman’s common stock at a discount in the future.
After selling most of its stake last quarter, Berkshire has raked in more than $3 billion from the deal so far.
George Soros’ fund bought Disney and Peloton shares
Soros Fund Management reported a new Disney stake worth about $5 million at the end of March.
It also bolstered its Peloton stake more than ten-fold to nearly 3 million shares, worth about $79 million at the time.
David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital piled into Disney, Tesla, and Berkshire Hathaway
Einhorn’s fund revealed new positions in all three companies. It reported $11 million stakes in both Disney and Berkshire at the end of March, and held about $6 million in Tesla stock.
Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group snapped up Google and Facebook stock
The value investor dubbed “the next Warren Buffett” was more adventurous than the Berkshire boss in the period.
Klarman’s Baupost revealed stakes in Google-parent Alphabet and Facebook, worth about $350 million and $330 million respectively.
Stanley Druckenmiller’s fund bought Disney shares, dumped Snap and Uber
Druckenmiller’s Duquesne Family Office took a $3 million stake in Disney last quarter.
It also exited its Snap position, and slashed its Uber holdings from about 2.6 million shares to only 400.
Dan Loeb’s Third Point made big bets on Amazon and Disney
Loeb’s fund tripled its Amazon stake to 215,000 shares, worth $419 million at the end of March.
It also took a stake in Disney valued at $138 million.
Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square bought Berkshire Hathaway and Starbucks
Ackman’s fund used the $2.6 billion it made by hedging the market meltdown to bolster its stakes in several key holdings last quarter.
It grew its Berkshire stake by more than a third to 5.5 million shares, its Hilton holdings by almost a third to roughly 14 million shares, and its Starbucks position by more than 80% to north of 10 million shares.
Carl Icahn nearly quadrupled his stake in Occidental Petroleum
Icahn bolstered his investment in debt-ridden Occidental Petroleum by more than 290% last quarter, from about 23 million shares to 89 million.
The activist investor complained in April after the oil-and-gas giant opted to pay its dividend to Warren Buffett in stock to save cash.
“I can’t argue with you that it was one of the most ridiculous deals that I’ve ever seen,” he said in an interview last month.
Howard Marks’ Oaktree Capital more than doubled its Alibaba holdings
Oaktree boosted its stake in the Chinese e-commerce titan by roughly 140% to 391,000 shares last quarter. The stake was worth about $76 million on March 31.
Marks has been a vocal skeptic of the recent US stock rally. He warned it was pretty much impossible to predict how the coronavirus pandemic will pan out, and argued “the world is more than 15% screwed up.”
David Tepper’s fund bought Netflix, Tesla, and Twitter
Tepper’s Appaloosa Management boosted its technology investments last quarter.
It built a $136 million stake in Twitter, a $96 million stake in Netflix, and positions valued below $25 million in Microsoft and Tesla.
John Paulson more than quadrupled his Tiffany’s stake
Paulson & Co boosted its Tiffany & Co holdings from about 134,000 shares to more than 600,000 last quarter. The stakes was valued at $78 million at the end of march.
The iconic jeweler is set to be acquired by LVMH, the French luxury conglomerate that owns Louis Vuitton, Moët, Hennessy, and other high-end brands.