John Griffin’s Blue Ridge Capital has revealed its equity positions at the end of 2014, and the fund’s portfolio has undergone a number of notable changes. First and foremost are new positions in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA), while it was one of several funds to be extremely bullish on Cheniere Energy, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:LNG) during the past quarter, increasing its holding by 75%.
Griffin, a former “Tiger Cub” of Tiger Management’s Julian Robertson, and in fact the second-in-command to Robertson at one point, founded the New York-based Blue Ridge Capital in 1996. The fund returned an impressive 65% in 2007, and weathered the 2008 financial crisis with just an 8% loss. However the fund failed to generate strong returns in the following years, underperforming the S&P 500 index. The fund is long/short in nature, with a bias towards long positions, as well as a balanced portfolio, and gravitates towards stocks considered consensus picks, and thus usually crowded.
Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR) is Griffin’s largest holding now, inching past Actavis plc (NYSE:ACT), though its position remained unchanged during the fourth quarter at 2.73 million shares. Charter is the fourth largest cable provider in the U.S, and was engaged in a battle with Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) to acquire Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX), a battle it would eventually lose.
Despite that, there’s a lot to like about the company going forward, as evidenced by the fact that Warren Buffett is a backer of the stock. Among the potential reasons is that despite losing out on acquiring Time Warner, Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR) will be able to pick up the 1.5 million subscribers Time Warner will be forced to let go of, elevating it to the second largest cable company in the U.S.
However, a report surfaced yesterday suggesting that approval of the Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) merger may not be a given, with the analyst setting just a 60% probability that it will happen.
Griffin’s new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) is not technically a new position, as his 4.85 million shares Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) were converted into 4.58 million shares of the new holding company, after Walgreens’ deal to purchase Alliance Boots GmbH was approved near the end of the year, and the new company began trading under its new ticker. This immediately made the holding the third most valuable in his $8.24 billion portfolio. Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) shares were up 32.42% in 2014, shares of the new holding company are up 2.36% this year.