Deepak Gulati‘s Switzerland-based fund, Argentiere Capital recently disclosed its equity holdings as of the end of the first quarter in a filing with the SEC. The fund initiated a number of new stakes, the most noteworthy being new positions in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), Hospira, Inc. (NYSE:HSP), Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), and SYSCO Corporation (NYSE:SYY).
Founded in early 2013, Argentiere seeks to generate returns that are uncorrelated with the market by employing equity volatility strategies. Gulati headed JPMorgan Chase’s global equity proprietary trading prior to setting up his own shop. The market value of the fund’s equity portfolio stood at $242.23 million at the end of March as compared to $525.80 million in the previous quarter. This was also accompanied by a high turnover ratio of 90.38% as the fund’s equity portfolio was given much greater diversity.
Argentiere held 18,100 shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) valued at $1.51 million by the end of the first quarter. The Chinese e-commerce giant has had a tough year so far with its stock sliding by about 18.32% year-to-date. The company is trying to spur growth from its smartphones segment and has recently partnered with China Telecom, the largest Chinese telecom company by subscriber base, to provide affordable handsets in rural China. The approximate cost of these phones called ‘Tianyi Taobao Shopping Handsets’ is $48. Dan Loeb‘s Third Point is one of the significant shareholders of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) as it held 10 million shares valued at $1.04 billion at the end of the fourth quarter.
Hospira, Inc. (NYSE:HSP) was added to Argentiere’s portfolio with some 318,000 shares valued at $27.93 million. It is the fund’s largest long position and represents 11.53% of the portfolio value. The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) announced the acquisition of Hospira, Inc. (NYSE:HSP) for $17 billion in February. The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year. This has led to the developer of biosimilars appreciating by 42.43% year-to-date. John W. Rogers‘ Ariel Investments enjoyed the after-effects of this deal as it held 2.31 million shares of Hospira, Inc. (NYSE:HSP) valued at $141.57 million at the end of 2014.
Argentiere held 70,500 shares of Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) stock valued at $5.31 million at the end of the first quarter. Despite the strong currency headwinds, the $128.19 billion international manufacturer of cigarettes beat revenue and earnings estimates for the first quarter. This led the company to raise its EPS guidance for 2015 to between $4.32 and $4.42, an increase of $0.05 from the previous quarter’s estimate. Tom Russo’s Gardner Russo & Gardner is the largest shareholder of Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM), according to our database.