Citadel Advisors is a Chicago-based hedge fund run by Ken Griffin, who ranked tenth on our list of the most successful investors in the world, based on net worth. Griffin is also a supporter of hedge fund activism, believing that activists will improve corporate governance in America. His fund ranks as one of the 140 Biggest and Most Famous Activist Hedge Funds in the world.
The enormous hedge fund’s 13F portfolio was valued at $99 billion at the end of 2016, with the largest portion of those funds being invested in information technology stocks (20.9%), followed by consumer discretionary stocks (16.6%) and finance stocks (15.6%). Based on its recent 13F filing with the SEC for the December 31 reporting period, the fund had a modest portfolio turnover percentage of 37.56% during the fourth quarter, though given the immense size of its portfolio, there were still dozens of major moves made. In the following article we’ll look at a few of the fund’s largest buys during the fourth quarter.
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Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL)
Citadel Advisors increased its stake in Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Class A shares by 35% to 858,992 shares during the quarter ended December 31, lifting the value of its holding to $680 million. Stephen Errico’s Locust Wood Capital Advisers also bought 38,739 Class A shares of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) during the December quarter, hiking its stake to 73,739 shares. The stock is already up by 5.8% in 2017 and is trading near its 52-week-high. Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) reported adjusted earnings of $9.36 per share for the fourth quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $9.64, though its revenue of $26.06 billion soundly topped estimates of $25.26 billion.
Visa Inc. (NYSE:V)
During the fourth quarter, Citadel Advisors doubled its stake in Visa Inc (NYSE:V) to 7.9 million shares with a value of $617 million. The $201 billion company has tremendous growth potential as major developing economies continue to shift to cash-less economies. The stock is currently trading near its yearly highs at $86.40 and has returned almost 23% over the last year. It also has a modest dividend yield of 0.76%. Visa Inc (NYSE:V) reported quarterly revenue of $4.5 billion and earnings per share of $0.86 for its fiscal first quarter, beating analyst expectations of $4.3 billion and $0.78, respectively. The payments technology company has an average rating of ‘Buy’ from the 38 analysts that track the stock.
On the next page we’ll dive into three more major moves executed by Citadel Advisors during the fourth quarter.