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Apple, Alphabet Among Welch Capital’s Favorite Tech Stocks for Q3

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New York-based long/short equity hedge fund Welch Capital Partners recently submitted its 13F filing with the SEC for the reporting period of June 30, revealing a U.S. equity portfolio containing $277.81 million worth of holdings. The fund was founded in July 1996 by Leighton Welch, who currently serves as its President and Senior Portfolio Manager. Mr. Welch holds both an A.B. and an M.B.A. from Harvard University and prior to starting Welch Capital Partners worked as a portfolio manager at Boykin Curry’s Eagle Capital Management. Welch Capital focuses on fundamental valuation and implements a private equity approach to public equity investing.

According to its latest filing, the fund’s equity portfolio had a quarterly turnover rate of 36.84% during the second quarter and its top-ten holdings at the end of June accounted for almost 42% of the value of its equity portfolio. The filing also revealed that stocks from the healthcare, finance and information technology sectors amassed 25%, 22% and 21% of the value of Welch Capital Partners’ equity portfolio respectively. In this article we’ll take a look at the fund’s top-five tech stock picks heading into the third quarter and will discuss their performance so far this year.

Through extensive research, we determined that imitating some of the picks of hedge funds and other institutional investors can help generate market-beating returns over the long run. The key is to focus on the small-cap picks of these investors, since they are usually less followed by the broader market and are less price-efficient. Our backtests that covered the period between 1999 and 2012, showed that following the 15 most popular small-caps among hedge funds can help a retail investor beat the market by an average of 95 basis points per month (see more details here).

everything possible/Shutterstock.com

everything possible/Shutterstock.com

#5. Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL)

– Shares Owned by Welch Capital Partners (as of June 30): 187,399

– Value of Holding (as of June  30): $7.67 Million

Let’s start with Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL), in which Welch Capital cut its stake by one-fourth during the second quarter. Shares of the enterprise software company have performed well this year, appreciating by almost 12%, but are still trading considerably below their 10-year high from late-2014. Last month, the company announced that it will be acquiring NetSuite Inc (NYSE:N) for $9.3 billion or $109 per share in an all-cash deal. Following the announcement, analysts have been divided on the implications of the deal. While some of them think that Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) is paying a hefty premium to acquire the company, other analysts feel that the premium is justified considering the strategic importance of the acquisition. Nevertheless, most analysts who track Oracle agree that the stock is undervalued, especially when one takes into account the company’s massive share buyback program and the fact that its cloud computing (SaaS, IaaS and PaaS) revenue will be able to offset its declining software license sales in its fiscal year 2017 ending May 31, 2017. Kerr Neilson‘s Platinum Asset Management lowered its stake in Oracle Corporation by 6% to 3.74 million shares during the first quarter.

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#4. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA)

– Shares Owned by Welch Capital Partners (as of June 30): 109,830

– Value of Holding (as of June  30): $8.73 Million

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) was a new entrant to Welch Capital’s equity portfolio during the second quarter. The Chinese e-commerce behemoth lost almost one-fourth of its market capitalization at the beginning of 2016 amid the broader turmoil in both the U.S. and China equity markets. However, its stock managed to recover most of those losses by March and is currently trading up by 12.35% year-to-date. Helping those gains was a spike on August 11 after the company reported its first quarter of fiscal year 2017 results. While the Street had expected the company to report EPS of $0.63 on revenue of $4.54 billion for the fiscal quarter, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) reported EPS of $0.74 on revenue of $4.84 billion. Earlier this month, the company announced that it is entering into a partnership with Taiwanese consumer electronics company HTC to advance virtual reality development with cloud computing solutions. On August 12, analysts at Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated their ‘Outperform’ rating on the stock while hiking their price target on it to $110 from $105. Jacob Rothschild‘s RIT Capital Partners reduced its holding in Alibaba by 41% to 190,000 shares during the second quarter.

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We have the details on Welch Capital’s three favorite tech stocks on the next page.

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