Polar Capital is a hedge fund that was founded in 2001 by Brian Ashford-Russell and Tim Woolley. The fund owns an equity portfolio valued at $4.77 billion, slightly up from $4.70 billion in the previous quarter. The equity portfolio is diversified and focused mainly on Technology, Healthcare and Financial stocks. In this article we will take a look at three companies Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), and ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE), which represent the top three holdings in terms of value from Polar Capital’s latest 13F filing.
Polar Bets on Big Tech
As it has been mentioned above, Polar heavily invests in the Technology sector. The largest holding in terms of value as of the end of September is represented by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The fund reported holding over 2.0 million shares of the company, up by 21% on the quarter. The current stake is worth more than $201.9 million and amasses 4.2% of the fund’s equity portfolio. Polar has been a long term shareholder of Apple, whose stock appreciated by over 40% over the last two years. Apple is one of the most popular stocks among investors and does not require a big description. The company has recently launched new versions of its iPad and iPhone and introduced several new products such as Apple Pay, about which analysts, investors and consumers are very excited.
Moreover, in a recent development, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might be partnering with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA). Both companies will collaborate in the mobile payment segment and will mostly work in China, where Alibaba is one of the largest players in the e-commerce business. Apple is also collaborating with some of the largest financial companies with its new Apple Pay product such as American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) and Visa Inc (NYSE:V). Recently Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) also entered into a deal with Apple, under the terms of which both companies will seek solutions to increase the popularity of Apple Pay among merchants.
One of the largest shareholders of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is Carl Icahn, an activist investor that has pushed for various changes at the company such as an increase in the buyback program, which would allow the company to return more money to shareholders. Carl Icahn owns around 52.76 million shares of Apple as of the end of June and around a month ago he sent a letter to CEO Tim Cook, where he stated that Apple’s stock price could reach as high as $203, a figure that was considered outrageous by some people.
Next on the list is Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), of which Polar Capital reported ownership of 232,100 shares, valued at $134 million. The fund has initiated a stake during the second quarter and it also added 129,200 shares of Google’s class A stock. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is a direct competitor with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), with its Android mobile OS, which currently has the largest market share in the world. Google is however engaged in various segments, one of the recent being the drone delivery, where the company is currently racing Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).
However, the competition between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google is very interesting. Apple has acquired Beats Electronics earlier this year, which gave it ownership of Beats Music service. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) as a response has recently announced its plans regarding its own streaming-based services called Music Key.
A couple of weeks ago, the notorious investor Julian Robertson said during an intereview that both Apple and Google are currently cheap and might go up. Mr. Robertson’s Tiger Management owns 32,900 class A shares of Google as of the end of June. Lansdowne Partners is another shareholder of the company, owning 959,700 class C shares and 847,100 class A shares as of the end of the third quarter.
Bullish on Large-Cap Insurance Company
The third-largest holding in Polar Capital’s equity portfolio is represented by ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE), which is a $35 billion insurance and reinsurance company. The fund increased its stake in the company by 13% during the third quarter to more than 1.01 million shares, worth $106.6 million. ACE is another long-term position for Polar Capital, which gained over 41% over the last couple of years.
ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE) has recently reached its 52-week high of over $111 per share after the company reported solid financial results. The company reported EPS of $2.64, which is up by 6% on the year and above the estimates. The company also has a strong buyback program for around a year and has already acquired more than $1 billion worth of its stock. John A. Levin’s Levin Capital Strategies is another shareholder that is bullish on ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE). Levin has been raising its position since the beginning of the year and in its last 13F filing it reported ownership of 1.05 million shares, up by 28% on the quarter.
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