Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates has filed its 13F with the SEC for the reporting period of March 31, disclosing an equity portfolio containing 328 positions and valued at $12.83 billion. While Dalio’s equity portfolio is majority invested in the finance sector because of three multi-billion dollar positions in index funds, he has a greater investment in the technology sector than in any other when it comes to his individual long positions in public companies. We’ve already looked at Dalio’s top picks, which are led by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), so we’ll spotlight the billionaire investor’s favorite tech stocks in this article.
It wasn’t a particularly strong first quarter for Dalio’s equity portfolio, which returned just 0.9% according to our metric, which generated the weighted average returns of his fund’s 329 long positions at the beginning of the year, in companies with a market cap of at least $1 billion. That figure was dragged down by some of his top technology picks, including in chipmakers Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), two semiconductor stocks which also hammered the returns of billionaire investors David Einhorn, Andreas Halvorsen, and Seth Klarman during the quarter. However, Dalio’s Bridgewater Pure Alpha II returned 14.50% through the first quarter as his macro strategy fund scored big betting on a strengthening US greenback.
Another tech stock that didn’t do Dalio any favors in the first quarter was Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). His second-largest tech bet and third-largest long position overall heading into 2015 lost 11.84% during the first quarter. Dalio did slash his Microsoft holding during the quarter greatly however, by 83%, reducing it to 100,045 shares valued at $4.07 million. While we don’t know when the majority of the position was sold off, it seems unlikely it was prior to Microsoft’s January earnings report and resultant plunge in share prices, given Dalio’s bullish move on the stock in the fourth quarter.
Let’s move to Dalio’s top pick, which is of course Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), being also his top overall stock pick, as mentioned. Dalio’s stake in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which owns one of the most profitable businesses ever, was nearly tripled during the quarter, to 732,997 shares with a value of $91.21 million, more than double the investment Dalio has in any other company. Apple was again the most popular stock among hedge funds as of this morning, though approximately 70% of funds had yet to process their latest 13F filings with the SEC.
All eyes are on the Apple Watch now as well as Apple’s growth in China as it prepares to enter the next phase of its evolution. To the latter point, there is cause for concern over the fact that smartphone sales in China have already started to regress and what that may mean for Apple’s attempts to wrest more market share away from Chinese companies like Xiaomi (which has plans of its own to head west and wrest some market share from Apple). Billionaire Carl Icahn still owns the largest position in Apple among the investors we track, with 52.76 million shares.
We move next onto Dalio’s investments in chipmakers, which include the aforementioned Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), which sit in second and fifth place respectively among his tech picks, in addition to Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MCHP), which ranks fourth. Dalio’s Micron holding is valued at $22.11 million and consists of 814,974 shares, while he holds 570,303 shares of Intel worth $17.83 million. Lastly, he holds 414,394 shares of Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MCHP) valued at $20.26 million.