Billionaire George Soros has been in the news a lot during the current Presidential elections, most recently being at the center of controversy over his ties to a company that was supposedly supplying voting machines to 16 states for the upcoming election. Soros, who is left-leaning and often described as a globalist, has donated over $25 million to Clinton’s campaign.
That aside, Soros is still most well-known as a brilliant investor. While he stopped playing an active role at his family office Soros Fund Management a few years ago to focus on his philanthropic endeavors, he has since returned to a more active role recently, and acts as the family office’s Chairman. Soros Fund Management’s 13F filing for the March quarter somewhat confirmed his return, as the firm reduced its exposure to U.S. equities by 25% and initiated a stake in several gold mining companies like Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), which was its top stock pick at the end of that period. Soros had been vocal about his bullishness on gold and his negative outlook on equities prior to that filing’s release.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the top long-term holdings of Soros Fund Management and discuss how they have been performing this year.
We track prominent investors and hedge funds because our research has shown that historically their stock picks delivered superior risk-adjusted returns. This is especially true in the small-cap space. The 15 most popular small-cap stocks among a select group of investors delivered a monthly alpha of 80 basis points between 1999 and 2012 (see the details).
#5 Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)
– Shares Owned by Soros Fund Management (as of June 30): 329,181
– Value of Holding (as of June 30): $12.94 million
Soros Fund Management initiated a stake in Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) during the third quarter of 2012. Though shares of the healthcare products company enjoyed a consistent rally from that point through August 2015, they have fallen on hard times since, being down by over 20%. During the second quarter, Soros Fund Management reduced its stake in the company by 21%, after cutting it by 37% during the first quarter. A large part of the decline that shares of the company have suffered this year can be attributed to its decision to acquire St. Jude Medical for $25 billion, which it announced on April 28. A lot of analysts and shareholders feel that the company is paying too much for the heart-device maker and that the transaction will be detrimental to its balance sheet. Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was held by 47 of the hedge funds in our database at the end of June, up by five quarter-over-quarter.
#4 Mondelez International Inc (NASDAQ:MDLZ)
– Shares Owned by Soros Fund Management (as of June 30): 472,731
– Value of Holding (as of June 30): $21.51 million
Mondelez International Inc (NASDAQ:MDLZ) is another long-term holding of Soros Fund Management in which the firm reduced its stake during both the first and second quarters, by 27% and 38% respectively. The fund initiated a stake in Kraft Foods during the second quarter of 2010, prior to its splitting into two different entities, Mondelez International Inc (NASDAQ:MDLZ) and Kraft Food Group, the latter of which later merged with Heinz to form Kraft Heinz Foods Co (NYSE:HNZ). Shares of Mondelez had largely trended sideways for several months until last week, when they gained over 6% after the company posted strong third quarter earnings and raised its full-year adjusted earnings growth guidance to 25%. 62 funds that we track held $6.68 billion worth of Mondelez’s stock in aggregate at the end of June, equal to 9.50% of the company’s outstanding stock.
We’ll check out three more long time favorites of George Soros on the next page.