Tiger Cub Lee Ainslie‘s $10 billion hedge fund Maverick Capital has beaten its peers for four years running, which includes healthy gains in 2015 when market volatility wreaked havoc with the returns of many funds’ portfolios. Mr. Ainslie put 39-year-old Andrew Warford in charge of stock picking at Maverick last year, and also gave a bigger role to Riad Abrahams, 37, who was named chief strategist in 2014. Analysts believe the pair to be exceptionally skilled stock pickers, especially in the consumer discretionary and technology sectors, each of which comprised 29% of the value of the fund’s $6.32 billion U.S equity portfolio at the end of March. In this article we will focus on five of Maverick Capital’s most prominent moves made during the first quarter.
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#5 Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)
– Shares Owned by Maverick Capital (as of March 31): 658,600
– Value of Holding (as of March 31): $130.34 Million
Maverick Capital initiated a stake in Northrop Grumman during the first quarter, with it representing 2.06% of its portfolio on March 31. Drexel Hamilton recently raised its price target on Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) to $235 from $207 and reiterated its ‘Buy’ rating on the stock. The analysts see 2016 as a transition year for the company as far as revenue is concerned, but see an acceleration of its top-line growth in 2017. Cliff Asness thought it was better to take some profits of the table after shares of the global security company gained about 6% in the first quarter, as he slashed his fund AQR Capital Management’s stake in Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) by 27% during the quarter to 1.76 million shares.
#4 Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)
– Shares Owned by Maverick Capital (as of March 31): 1.60 Million
– Value of Holding (as of March 31): $182.15 Million
Moving on, Maverick added about 1.59 million shares to its Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) holding during the January-to-March period, with it also essentially representing a new position, as the holding consisted of just 2,500 shares on December 31. As the competition between Facebook and Google intensifies in the ad space, Mark Zuckerberg’s company recently announced that it will now sell video ads for other companies, for a cut of the revenue. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) managed to easily beat both top and bottom-line estimates with its financial results for the first quarter and its shares up by a healthy 12.7% this year. Another Tiger Cub that was also bullish on the company during the first quarter was Andreas Halvorsen of Viking Global, as his fund initiated a position in the social networking giant of 20.13 million shares.
We’ll discuss three more big moves made by Maverick Capital during the first quarter on the next page.