Billionaire David Shaw’s Fund Boosts Exposure to Yahoo, Allergan & Others

Valued at more than $476 million, D. E. Shaw’s stake in Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) has been almost doubled over the course of the first quarter to 369,668 shares. Stephen Mandel, on the other hand, chose to reduce his exposure to this stock, having trimmed his fund’s stake by 5% during the same period of time. According to its latest 13F filing, Lone Pine Capital holds 791,637 shares of Priceline Group with an estimated value of $1.02 billion. Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN)’s better-than-expected first quarter results were overshadowed by its weak outlook for the second quarter. The company said it expects earnings to range between $11.60 and $12.50 per share, below analysts’ estimates of $14.98 per share. First quarter revenues rose by 17% year-over-year to $2.15 billion, while the profit stood at $10.54 per share. Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) also reported strong growth numbers: gross bookings were up by 26%, while room nights booked rose by 31% in the first quarter.

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Bullish On Banking

D E Shaw’s executive committee is also optimistic about the prospects of Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) and have upped their interest during the quarter. The fund currently holds 9.4 million shares valued at $392 million according to its latest 13F filing. Harris Associates, run by Natixis Global Asset Management, has built a massive position in Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) over the course of the first quarter, amassing 28.7 million shares of the banking giant. Worth more than $1.19 billion, Harris Associates’ holding of the stock is the largest among the funds followed by Insider Monkey. The stock fell sharply in the beginning of 2016 and, although they regained some of the lost ground in the recent rally, shares are still down by 9.6% for the year. The stock is currently trading at a P/E ratio of 9, significantly lower than the industry average of 16 as reported by Yahoo! Finance. According to its 2015 annual report, Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) is now focused on three development directions going forward: physical presence in high-impact locations, the development of its U.S. credit card business and the creation of Citi FinTech, a new unit meant to improve its offer of online banking services.

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Big Bet on BofA

The fund’s stake in Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) received a monster 1,200% boost during the first quarter and currently amounts to 25.8 million shares valued at $349 million. The second largest US bank by assets, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) managed to marginally surpass expectations in the first quarter, as profit fell by 18%. The banking giant posted $20.9 billion in revenues, down by 2.5% year-over-year, and a profit of $2.22 billion or $0.21 per share. The consensus among analysts was $20.3 billion in revenues and earnings of $0.20 per share. The management said the banks operations were affected by the global slump in commodities market, the slowdown of the Chinese economy and uncertainty regarding the pace of Fed’s interest rate increases. Ken Fisher is still betting on BofA and has boosted his investment by 1% heading into the second quarter. His fund, Fisher Asset Management, holds 43.1 million shares worth $603 million as reported in its latest 13F filing.

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