Tiger Global’s Newest Moves May Surprise: Groupon Inc (GRPN), Apple Inc. (AAPL), Facebook Inc (FB), Google Inc (GOOG)

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In the hedge fund universe, 13F filing season is here, and we’re bringing you up-to-date coverage of this situation. While money managers’ 13F filings are reported to the SEC with a 45-day delay, this actually improves investors’ ability to beat the market because, on average, fund managers are early into their investments. Our research has shown that hedgies’ consensus stock picks beat the market handily (see the details of our market-beating strategy), so let’s take a look at one particular fund’s latest Q4 moves.

Chase Coleman Tiger Global ManagementOf the 400-plus hedge funds we track, Tiger Global Management is truly elite. Founded by Chase Coleman, one of the most notable “tiger cubs,” Tiger Global has returned more than 20% a year since 2001. In addition to Coleman and his co-manager Feroz Dewan, Lee Fixel and Scott Shleifer are both managing directors and co-portfolio managers of the firm’s venture capital/private equity funds. At the end of the fourth quarter, Tiger Global’s equity portfolio—according to its 13F filings with the SEC—totaled more than $5 billion.

Groupon’s continued comeback

Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) was a new position for Tiger Global in the third quarter, and the hedge fund upped its stake in the daily deals company significantly one quarter later. Groupon now accounts for more than $315 million worth of Tiger Global’s 13F capital, after a 9.9% stake was reported in a 13G filing last November (see the full story here). Since the details of this bullish bet were made public, Groupon’s stock price has returned 99% (as of Valentine’s Day).

Despite this appreciation, GRPN shares still trade at a 68% discount to their industry’s average sales valuation, and optimism over the company’s Groupon Goods e-commerce platform is riding high. A recent “Buy” upgrade from Sterne Agee is the proverbial cherry on top, and indicates that more gains could be in store.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) downsized; Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE:LNKD) cut

Unlike some of its peers, Tiger Global did not sell its entire Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) position last quarter, instead choosing to downsize its Cupertino holdings by 19.2%. Interestingly, the hedge fund did decide to cut its entire stakes in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), and LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE:LNKD), which should come as a surprise to most investors. At the end of the third quarter, each member of this group fell within Tiger Global’s top 12, so it’s not likely that many predicted such a drastic move to occur over the next three months.

It’s worth mentioning that the size of the hedge fund’s 13F portfolio shrank by nearly 25%, so it appears that this tech trio could have been a casualty of a year-end sell-off, though there’s no way we can be certain. Regarding Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), we do know that Coleman and his team converted a significant portion of their private shares into public class A stock in Q3, which subsequently appreciated by 22.9% in Q4.

Still, out of these four stocks, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the only to pay a dividend, and is by far the cheapest no matter how we slice the valuation metrics. For those two reasons alone, Tiger Global’s sentiment is understandable.

Continued confidence in 3D Systems and Amazon

3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) was a new position for the hedge fund in the third quarter, and it received a vote of confidence at year’s end.

Why was this the case?

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