RIT Capital Partners was founded as Rothschild Investment Trust in 1961 by Jacob Rothschild to manage investments outside of the Rothschild family’s banking business in the United Kingdom. Although the fund invests in a wide range of financial instruments, its main focus, however, is investments in private and public equity. Jacob Rothschild no longer plays an active role in day-to-day business, which has been taken over by an executive committee. At the end of the first quarter, the fund’s equity portfolio carried an estimated market value of $185 million and comprised 8 equity positions. The fund has a large exposure to the consumer discretionary sector, which accounts for 60% of its portfolio. During the first quarter, the fund’s management has shaken up its portfolio, having liquidated a number of its top bets and added several new ones. In this article we’ll take a look at three new acquisitions and two holdings that were dumped.
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At the end of the fourth quarter, Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) was RIT Capital’s number one bet as it held 1.03 million shares. Three months later, the fund’s 13F filing reveals that the executive committee has dumped the entire position. At the end of April, Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) posted first quarter results that met and exceeded analysts’ expectations. Adjusted for restructuring costs, earnings stood at $0.63 per share, in line with the consensus among analysts. Revenues came in at $3.76 billion, topping expectations of $3.73 billion. So far this year, the stock has been in a solid uptrend and has advanced by 7.7% to yesterday’s closing price of $70.43 per share. Billionaire Jim Simons‘ Renaissance Technologies cut its exposure to Colgate-Palmolive by 2% during the quarter to 9.88 million shares, which is the largest stake among the funds followed by Insider Monkey.
No Love For This Cable Company
Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is another big position RIT Capital’s management liquidated over the course of the first quarter. According to the fund’s previous 13F filing, it held 898,500 shares of the media company which were valued at $50.7 million at the end of 2015. Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has recently announced a deal to acquire Dreamworks Animation Skg Inc(NASDAQ:DWA) as it looks to bolster its animation portfolio. Comcast is set to splash roughly $3.8 billion for Dreamworks Animation or $41, which was a 50% premium on the price the shares were trading prior to the announcement. Dreamworks will join Illumination Entertainment under NBCUniversal’s umbrella. NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said the studio was attracted by Dreamworks’ “deep library of intellectual property,” which means they were more interested in its content, which includes Shrek, The Penguins of Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda, than current operations. “DreamWorks will help us grow our film, television, theme parks, and consumer products businesses for years to come,” added Burke. Alex Snow‘s Lansdowne Partners still holds a large position in Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), but has reduced its exposure by 11% to 26.2 million shares worth over $1.6 billion.
On the next page we’ll take a look at the three new positions initiated by RIT’s management team.