3 Stocks Billionaire George Soros Bought in Q3 (and 2 He Dumped)

Controversial billionaire George Soros is the founder of Soros Fund Management, a family office which manages his immense personal wealth, which is currently estimated by Forbes at $8.3 billion. The aged firebrand has been a favorite target of the political right and conspiracy theorists for years, due in part to the use of that financial clout to promote liberalism and an open society.

There was a lot of activity in Soros Fund Management’s portfolio during Q3 according to its latest 13F filing. There were some major changes to its sector allocation, including its exposure to finance and tech stocks being lowered, while more weighting was given to communication and consumer staples stocks. Overall, Soros appeared to be quite bearish on the market ahead of the October beating, lowering or completely selling off stakes in 154 stocks while buying the shares of just 91 stocks. Soros Fund Management’s 13F portfolio was valued at $4.56 billion on September 30, down from $6.25 billion on June 30.

Of particular note is that Soros appears to have lost some bullishness towards the video game industry, selling off positions in leading publishers Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO). The sales appear to have been well-timed; both stocks have been under pressure from loot box legislation and have endured brutal fourth-quarters, with each losing over 23%.

George Soros, Soros Fund Management

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Below, we’ll analyze five of the biggest trades executed by Soros Fund Management in Q3.

Stocks Bought in Q3

Tribune Media Company (NYSE:TRCO)

Shares Bought During Q3: 1.6 million
Value of Holding (as of September 30): $61.49 million

Q4 Return (through November 23): +1.85%

Forward P/E Ratio: 12.71

Forward Dividend Yield: 2.89%

After selling out of its old Tribune Media Company (NYSE:TRCO) position in Q2, Soros re-opened it in Q3, which may have been prompted by the sell-off of the stock in mid-July. Shares have rebounded by 18% since that point.

Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (NYSE:ADM)

Shares Bought During Q3: 720,000
Value of Holding (as of September 30): $36.19 million

Q4 Return (through November 23): -10.09%

Forward P/E Ratio: 12.72

Forward Dividend Yield: 2.89%

Soros moved some of his family office’s wealth into consumer staples stocks in Q3 after having little invested in them over the prior three quarters, hiking their weighting to 6.54% from just 0.49% during Q3. In addition to this new position in Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (NYSE:ADM), Soros also raised its stake in Pinnacle Foods, which has since been acquired by Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE:CAG).

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Shares Bought During Q3: 429,000
Value of Holding (as of September 30): $55.18 million

Q4 Return (through November 23): -9.88%

Forward P/E Ratio: 20.87

Forward Dividend Yield: 1.68%

While Soros trimmed his family office’s tech holdings in Q3, Microsoft was not one of the stocks to fall under the axe; in fact, Soros hiked his Microsoft position by just over 800%. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) supplanted Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) during Q3 to top the list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds.

Stocks Sold in Q3

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA)

Shares Sold During Q3: 250,000
Value of Holding (as of September 30): $0

Q4 Return (through November 23): -31.39%

Forward P/E Ratio: 16.16

Forward Dividend Yield: N/A

George Soros sold off his stake in EA just two quarters after first opening it in Q1. Hedge funds’ most popular video game stock, EA has been dinged by the market of late for its disappointing short-term guidance, as Fortnite headwinds appear to still be battering other game makers.

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO)

Shares Sold During Q3: 217,500
Value of Holding (as of September 30): $0

Q4 Return (through November 23): -23.55%

Forward P/E Ratio: 20.44

Forward Dividend Yield: N/A

Soros Fund Management also unloaded its stake in the Grand Theft Auto developer during Q3, which it had owned since the first-quarter of 2017. The long-awaited sequel to Red Dead Redemption was recently released by Take-Two and has been universally praised and hugely successful, selling over 17 million copies through the first week of November.

Disclosure: None