Billionaire Chase Coleman’s Top Picks: Apple Inc, LinkedIn, Yandex

TIGER GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LLCApple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Linkedin Corporation (NYSE:LNKD), and Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX) are among billionaire Chase Coleman’s top holdings. Only in his mid-30s, billionaire Chase Coleman, manager of Tiger Global Management, boasted the best returns among hedge fund managers for 2011, with a total return of 45 percent. A Tiger Cub, Coleman owes a measure of his investment prowess to hedge fund legend Julian Robertson, founder of Tiger Management. Coleman’s portfolio is heavily weighted in technology.

On August 14, the fund filed its 13F, disclosing its holdings as of the end of the second quarter. In all, the portfolio’s leading positions from the first quarter were further strengthened, though there are a few intrigues.

To begin, Coleman and his team increased the fund’s stake in Linkedin Corporation (NYSE:LNKD) to 3.3 million shares. The professional networking website has 170 million members around the world and had its IPO in May 2011. Over 35 percent of the company’s revenue comes from outside the United States. As with any website, the company needs to engage its members—mostly comparatively wealthy professionals looking to network or find work—on all platforms, including tablets and smartphones. This has been increasingly difficult as ad revenue has been “squeezed off the screen” of many mobile devices.

That said, the company receives about 23 percent of its unique visitors through mobile platforms. Additionally, Linkedin Corporation (NYSE:LNKD) derives over 50 percent of its revenue from its hiring and recruitment services segment. This could prove to be a more stable business for the website. As we noted in a previous post, the company’s valuation suggests big-time growth, with shares trading at 84 times forward earnings. Though the company is known to blow analyst estimates out of the water, Tiger Global decided to liquidate 1.6 million shares in mid-June and late-July. The fund still owns roughly 3.3 percent of the company.

Tiger Global Management’s most valuable holding has become Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), displacing Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX). Now the fund’s second-largest holding, Yandex is the largest search engine and content aggregator in Russia, responsible for 63 percent of all internet searches performed in Russia in 2011. Tiger Global cut its share count in Yandex NV by 20 percent since the first quarter. Coleman strengthened the fund’s bullish position in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), holding 1.4 million shares in the company and another 830,000 call options as shares again creep toward their historical high.

At spots number three and four in the portfolio are Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), respectively. The Priceline.com story is not a happy one: Tiger Global increased its holdings to 868,000 from 785,000 in the first quarter, only to see shares plummet August 8 by about 15 percent. Over all, though, the fund has still made quite a chunk of change year-to-date on Priceline, which has returned 20 percent in that period.

The fund has upped its holdings in both Visa Inc (NYSE:V) and Mastercard (NYSE:MA) as well, which both remain in the top ten holdings for the company. Both companies’ stocks steadily climbed over the past two years, and both had IPOs in the mid-2000s. Financial data processing is likely to see secular upward trend as payments at points-of-purchase, both online and in store, become less reliant on checks and cash. Of course, Coleman also ought to hope for a sunny economic climate since less consumer spending will negatively affect these companies.

Another foreign tech company like Yandex, Baidu.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) is a major search provider in China. Tiger Global increased its holdings to 1.4 million shares from 870,000 in the first quarter. This is a rather popular company among investors, and S&P equity analyst Scott Kessler notes that the company is a “unique combination of growth and value.” Serving a growing Chinese user base, Baidu.com, Inc. already has the requisite market share to take advantage of growth in the country; at the end of the 2011, it had 488,000 online marketing customers.

Leaving the Tiger Global top ten was Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:LYV). Tiger Global holds 38 percent fewer shares of the company, which is a leading producer of live concerts around the world.

Tiger Global is an interesting fund to watch for techie investors, particularly given the success of the broader tech sector and Coleman’s portfolio. Coleman is known for creating value in the pre-IPO stages of many companies and for shorting particularly well—skills that made him a star  tech analyst at Julian Robertson’s firm for three years.

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