Apple, Google Are Among Christopher Hansen’s Supersonic Stock Picks

Christopher Hansen founded Valiant Capital Management in March 2008, and the fund is still ticking. Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) were Hansen’s top picks at the end of the first quarter. Hansen was in the news earlier this year because of his plans to bring NBA back to Seattle. Earlier this month Valiant Capital filed its 13F for the second quarter of 2012. Not all of the fund’s positions are reported in the filing, but we can still look through it in search of investment ideas. Valiant Capital Management doesn’t recommend or endorse any of the stocks or analysis in this article, and we have no relationship with the fund, but based on SEC filings these are our opinions of what they are thinking. Read on to see the fund’s largest reported positions or see what the fund has owned in the past.

Valiant’s largest position was Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), with its position of about 210,000 shares unchanged from three months earlier. The technology giant has soared over the past several years but still trades at a trailing P/E of 15 despite earnings growth of 21% in its most recent quarter compared to the same period the previous year. This may be due to investors worrying about growing competition and price pressure on Apple’s devices from rivals such as Google and Microsoft, but Valiant at least still hasn’t sold. In the first quarter, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) led our list of the ten most popular stocks among hedge funds.

VALUEACT CAPITAL

Verisign Inc (NASDAQ:VRSN) was another top holding of the fund, though again it kept its position steady at 1.6 million shares. The stock is up 30% so far this year, but Valiant apparently thought it had further to go. The stock trades at a fairly high trailing P/E ratio of 30, but optimistic expectations from analysts bring the forward P/E down to 21. Valueact Capital reported owning 6.4 million shares of the stock at the end of the first quarter.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is actually down 4% this year versus a rising NASDAQ as the search giant continues to look for ways to grow its business: it has successfully entered the smartphone space with its Android system, and is developing a tablet device to compete with Apple’s iPad, but even continued double-digit earnings growth in its most recent quarter compared to the same quarter in 2011 can’t get it above it year-opening price. Valiant kept his Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) position flat at about 120,000 shares from the first quarter through the end of the second quarter.

The fund’s fourth largest position was Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA), which it also held constant at about 1.4 million shares. The broadband and cable company has been falling enormously short of earnings expectations recently: in each of the last four quarters it reported a loss instead of the expected profit. A number of hedge funds, such as Tiger Global, were investors in Liberty Global at the end of the first quarter.

Finally, Valiant had added heavily to its position in The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) in the first quarter of 2012, and it continued to buy shares in the broker in the second three months of the year. The fund now owns 4.1 million shares (up from 3.4 million), bringing it to the fifth largest position in the 13F portfolio. Charles Schwab trades at earnings multiples in the high teens- a trailing P/E of 19, for example- and has achieved good growth in recent quarters compared to 2011. The stock’s performance is about even with the market so far this year.

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