Lone Pine Capital’s performance would have been even better had it not been for its holding in Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU). The stock of the Chinese search engine dropped by 8.6% during the first quarter. Lone Pine had 7.03 million shares valued at $1.6 billion invested in Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) which represent 6.7% of the fund’s equity portfolio. One of the main reasons why investors are bullish on Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) is the exposure to the Chinese search market, where Google is blocked, which allows the company to take advantage of around $15 billion that will be spent on search advertising in 2015 alone. Philippe Laffont, Andreas Halvorsen, Ken Fisher, and Israel Englander are only a few of 16 billionaire investors with long positions in Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) as of the end of 2014.
Mandel also believes in the long term future of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). In the last quarter of 2014 he upped his stake in the social media giant by 56% to 13.50 million shares, the stake amassing 4.4% of its equity portfolio. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is increasingly popular among the hedge funds we track, with 118 funds disclosing long positions in the latest round of 13F filings. Lone Pine is the largest shareholder of Facebook among the funds we track, followed by Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, which own 7.18 million shares and 5.24 million shares respectively. With a user base of 1.4 billion users, investors also expect some of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s latest acquisitions such as WhatsApp to begin to contribute to underlying profits. Meanwhile, the stock returned 5.4% for the first quarter.
Another double-digit gainer in Mandel’s equity portfolio is represented by Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (NASDAQ:CTSH). Year-to-date, this IT provider is up by almost 20% and has been the beneficiary of a number of analyst upgrades in recent months. Investors expect Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (NASDAQ:CTSH) to continue to be well-positioned for the continued trend in IT services. During the last quarter of 2014, Mandel cut his position in Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (NASDAQ:CTSH) by almost a third to 12.23 million shares and it is unclear if he disagrees with this view or simply picking some profits from a long-term investment. On the other hand, billionaire Israel Englander surged his position in Cognizant by 110% to 1.91 million shares.