What We Learned From the Latest Stock Holding Disclosures by Prominent Investors

Feb 19, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Many hedge fund investors piled into tech stocks for the artificial intelligence play in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to quarterly 13F filings.
  • Warren Buffett and Dan Loeb, however, were among the big names to cut back on tech and increase exposure to energy and utilities companies.
  • Consumer-related stocks were of less interest, with investors cutting back on airlines, automakers, fast food restaurants and home improvement retailers.
  • Tech darling Nvidia submitted a 13F for the first time, showing investments in five publicly traded companies.

The biggest names in the investment world disclosed their holdings last week in required quarterly filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Form 13F filings from the likes of Warren Buffett, Bill Ackman, David Tepper, Dan Loeb and others are closely watched for a sense of which companies and sectors have fallen in and out of favor with the most influential and successful investors.

It’s important to note that these filings, which are required of any institutional investor that manages more than $100 million in assets, reflect stock positions held by money managers at the end of December. They don’t reflect any changes since, and they also don’t divulge what price shares were acquired at or profits from their sale.

Here are some takeaways from last week’s filings.

Many Big Investors Piled Into Tech, AI Plays

Billionaires bet big on technology, with many piling into shares of Amazon (AMZN), Nvidia (NVDA) and Intel (INTC) amid high expectations surrounding artificial intelligence.

Bridgewater Associates—the hedge fund founded by Ray Dalio—increased its exposure to Nvidia nearly six-fold to 268,489 shares compared to the preceding quarter.

About 158 institutional investors added roughly 14.6 million Amazon shares, at a $21.6 billion value, in the three months ended December, according to a Bloomberg analysis of the 13F filings. However, the same number of investors exited or cut back their positions in the company.

Energy, Utilities Trumped Tech For Some

Not everyone followed the tech crowd. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) (BRKB) held no stake in Nvidia and trimmed its Apple (AAPL) holdings while adding shares of Chevron (CVX) and Occidental Petroleum (OXY).

And he wasn’t the only one picking energy and utilities over technology.

Dan Loeb’s Third Point, for example, sold off its entire stake in Google-parent Alphabet (GOOG) (GOOGL) and cut back exposure to Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSM), opting to add to its energy bets such as PG&E Corp (PCG) and Vistra Corp (VST). The fund also opened a new position in hydrocarbon exploration firm EQT Corp. (EQT).

Several Consumer Stocks Fell Out of Favor

Persistent inflation and high interest rates in the U.S. may have given investors pause when it came to consumer-focused businesses, including those in the automotive, travel, home improvement and restaurant sectors.

For instance, Jim Simon‘s quant-focused Renaissance Technologies sold all but a fourth of the American Airlines (AAL) shares it owned. Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square cut more than 80% of his position in Lowe’s (LOW), leaving him with 1.25 million shares in the home improvement company. Ackman also pared his stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) by roughly 13%.

Nike (NKE) and Ford (F) were both big aggregate losers in terms of shares sold, according to the Bloomberg analysis.

Some Signs of Optimism About Home Building

There were signs that investors may be seeing an improved outlook for the home building market amid hopes that interest rates will fall once the Federal Reserve starts cutting its benchmark rate. Fed officials have started discussing the possibility of rate cuts in recent months, though they have said they are waiting for clearer evidence that inflation is under control before doing so.

Pershing Square increased its investment in real estate development and management company Howard Hughes (HHH) by about 2 million shares, while David Tepper’s Appaloosa got into home building products company Masco Corp. (MAS), flooring manufacturer Mohawk Industries Inc. (MHK) and insulation and glass company Owens Corning (OC).

However, Berkshire exited the 5.9 million shares it owned of residential construction company D.R. Horton (DHI).

Tech Darling Nvidia Submitted its First 13F

Nvidia, which recently overtook Alphabet as the third-largest U.S. company by market value, submitted its first-ever 13F last week, showing investments in five publicly traded companies.

The biggest Nvidia holding in dollar-value terms at the end of the fourth quarter was semiconductor designer Arm Holdings, which went public in September in the largest U.S. initial public offering since 2021. Nvidia held 1.96 million shares in Arm valued at $147.3 million at the end of the quarter.

Nvidia also reported stakes in Soundhound AI (SOUN), Nano-X imaging (NNOX), Recursion Pharmaceuticals (RXRX) and over-the-counter-traded Tusimple Holdings, all of which saw their stock prices pop on the news. Nvidia’s stake in Recursion represented its second largest holding, valued at nearly $76 million.

Leave a comment