Apple Inc. (AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), and Intel Corporation (INTC): Bridgewater Associates Reveals Top Picks

Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates revealed its top picks for the fourth quarter in a 13F Form filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Excluding its exchange-traded fund (ETF) holdings, the hedge fund’s largest position at the end of 2014 was in Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), with a stake of 537,300 shares. The investment firm’s other top bets for this quarter included Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC).BRIDGEWATER ASSOCIATES

Bridgewater Associates was founded by Ray Dalio in 1973, who was ranked as the world’s biggest and best-performing hedge fund manager in 2010 and 2011. A couple of years ago, Mr. Dalio stepped down from his position as CEO of the Westport, Connecticut-based firm, taking on the role of “mentor” and serving as co-CIO, alongside Robert Prince and Greg Jensen. Bridgewater Associates operates in the public equity and fixed income markets, employing fundamental analysis to pick its stocks. The fund has amassed an equity portfolio with a market value of $12.5 billion as of the end of 2014, down from $12.8 billion at the end of the third quarter.

Excluding its stake in ETFs, Bridgewater Associates disclosed Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) as its largest position, after increasing its stake in the company by 295,800 shares last quarter. The fund’s top pick for the end of 2014 has been performing well, gaining more than 26% last year, and seeing share prices grow by around 8% year-to-date. Furthermore, according to its latest earnings report, the pharmaceutical company achieved earnings of $2.43 per share, representing a 137% year-over-year increase in revenue, and beating the analyst consensus estimate of $2.23. In addition to solid earnings, last year the firm managed to triple its cash on the books to $11.7 billion, expand its margins by more than 20%, and boost sales by 122%. Hence, it comes as no surprise that Bridgewater Associates is not the only fund betting on Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD). Amongst the funds we track, William B. Gray’s Orbis Investment Management stands out as one of Gilead’s largest shareholders among institutional investors, holding a stake of 2.57 million shares at the end of 2014.