5 Technology Stocks Billionaires Were Piling Into in Q3

Technology stocks, with their high growth rate, are perennial favorites of billionaire investors. September quarter saw various high profile billionaires initiating brand new positions in several tech stocks. Billionaires such as Chase Coleman, Stephen Mandel, Dan Loeb and Howard Marks bought new stakes in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE:BABA). Billionaires Steve Cohen and Louis Bacon snapped up shares of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL).

Other prominent tech stocks lapped up by billionaire investors are Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB). This article will discuss the major news related to these stocks.

We follow over 700 billionaires, hedge funds, and other institutional investors and by analyzing their quarterly 13F filings, we identify stocks that they are collectively bullish on and develop investment strategies based on this data. One strategy that outperformed the market over the last year involves selecting the 100 best-performing funds and identifying the 30 mid-cap stocks that they are collectively the most bullish on. Over the past year, this strategy generated returns of 18%, topping the 8% gain registered by S&P 500 ETFs.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE:BABA) stock gained 15.37% this year so far. Of the hedge funds in our database, 69 funds held $5.5 billion worth of Alibaba Group Holding shares in their portfolio at the end of the June quarter, which equals to 2.80% of the outstanding shares. During the third quarter, bullish hedge fund positions increased to 104. A net of thirty five investors initiated brand new positions in Alibaba Group and seven of these were billionaires. Tiger Global’s founder Chase Coleman, fellow Tiger cub Stephen Mandel, Dan Loeb, Stan Druckenmiller, and Paul Tudor Jones were among these billionaires. Alibaba Group Holding recently announced encouraging sales stats for its online Singles Day event. The company is also looking to expand its cloud services business, giving tough competition to the likes of Amazon and Microsoft.

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) managed to capture the hearts and minds of hedge funds during the third quarter as well. Among the funds we track, 116 funds held $10.67 billion worth of Apple’s stock in aggregate at the end of June. The number of hedge funds with bullish positions jumped by 29 during the third quarter and 5 of these spots belong to billionaires. Dan Loeb, David Tepper, Larry Robbins, Rob Citrone are among these billionaires. We can even add Lee Ainslie to this group of billionaires because he boosted his Apple Inc. (AAPL) position from $600K to more than $225 million during Q3. Apple Inc. received a boost in Australia as the regulators indicated that four major banks in the country may be barred from collective bargaining with regard to the company’s Apple Pay service.

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Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) shares the second spot with Apple Inc. Five billionaires initiated brand new positions in Priceline during the third quarter. Eighty five hedge funds from our database had positions in Priceline Group, with total holdings of about $7.24 billion as on the end of June. These numbers jumped to 98 and $8.2 billion respectively by the end of September. Billionaire activist Barry Rosenstein’s Jana Partners, quant billionaire Jim Simons’ RenTech and Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management were among the funds that initiated brand new positions. The company recently announced its third quarter earnings at $23.41 per share, up from $10.13 per share it had reported for the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Its revenue stood at $3.102 billion, down from $3.69 billion for the previous third quarter.

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Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has two seperate tickers and we considered each ticker seperately for this ranking. The number of funds from our hedge fund database long Alphabet was at 135 at the end of June.This number increased to 137 by the end of September. Surprisingly four billionaires initiated brand new positions in GOOGL shares. Billionaire Ken Griffin’s Citadel Advisors initiated a $500+ million position while billionaire Steve Cohen invested more than a third of a billion dollars. Louis Bacon and Stan Druckenmiller also initiated smaller positions in Alphabet Inc. Morgan Stanley opined that the company’s newly introduced Pixel phone may be worth $3.8 billion for the company next year.

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Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is the most popular stock among billionaires. There were 20 billionaires with bullish Facebook Inc. positions at the end of June and three more billionaires joined them by the end of September. Interestingly, total dollar amount invested by billionaires actually went down recently as Stephen Mandel sold around $450 million worth of stock. Ken Griffin also sold a third of his position which was more than $500 million. Billionaires Steve Cohen, David Tepper, and Dan Loeb purchased the most Facebook Inc. shares during the third quarter.

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