One of the largest hedge funds around, Soros Fund Management is a family office that manages approximately $30 billion of George Soros‘ money. Half of that, however, is tied up in ventures with other investment funds. In August 2015, George Soros announced the departure of the fund’s previous chief investment officer, Scott Bessent, who went on to start his own fund – Key Square Group. Bessent was replaced by Ted Burdick, who joined the firm in 2000 as an analyst and had been running the firm’s distressed debt and arbitrage operations since 2010. Founded in 1969, Soros Fund Management is one of the most profitable hedge fund managers, having returned an average of 20% per year since inception. At the end of the 2015 fourth quarter, the fund’s equity portfolio carried an estimated market value of $6.05 billion, with a big emphasis on technology and financial stocks. In this article, however, we’ll take a look at some of the top stock picks Soros Fund Management has been holding the longest.
Through extensive research, we have determined that the due diligence that these investors employ, as well as their long-term focus makes them perfect targets to emulate. However, the results of our analysis have also shown that the small-cap picks of these funds can generate much better returns, with the 15 most popular small-cap stocks beating the market by an average of 95 basis points per month (read more details here).
Soros Fund Management’s largest equity position, Adecoagro SA (NYSE:AGRO), is also the fund’s top long term investment. The position was first reported by the fund at the end of the 2011 first quarter and has since grown to approximately 25.9 million shares. Soros’ management team did not make any changes to this position during the fourth quarter of 2015. At the end of the last year, roughly 39% of Adecoagro SA (NYSE:AGRO) common stock was held by 15 funds from our database. The stock is currently trading at a trailing Price-to-Earnings (P/E) ratio of 376, a massive multiplier when compared to the industry average of 14.40 as reported by Yahoo! Finance. On March 17, Adecoagro SA (NYSE:AGRO) issued its financial report for the fiscal fourth quarter and reported a profit of $446,000. On a per share basis, earnings amount to less than $0.01, while revenues came in at $174.2 million.
During the fourth quarter, Soros Fund Management trimmed by 3% its holding of Zoetis Inc (NYSE:ZTS), another long-term bet. The position was established during the first quarter of 2013 and currently amounts to 3.38 million shares, which were valued at a little over $162 million at the end of December. The hedge fund sentiment towards Zoetis Inc (NYSE:ZTS) (among the funds in our database) slightly deteriorated during the fourth quarter, with the number of long positions decreasing to 54, from 60 a quarter before. Billionaire Bill Ackman, the manager of Pershing Square, is also betting big on Zoetis Inc (NYSE:ZTS), as his fund holds 41.8 million shares of the pharmaceutical company, unchanged over the quarter. A developer of medicine and vaccinations for pets and livestock, the company was previously a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), but was spun off in 2013. Pfizer later sold its majority stake in the company.
Turn the page to find out more about three other long-term bets made by Soros Fund Management.