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Billionaire Stephen Mandel’s Turns Bearish on Consumer Stocks; Gets More Bullish on Tech

In Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE:BABA), Stephen Mandel’s fund boosted its stake by 47% over the quarter to 7.62 million shares worth $669 million. Fellow Tiger Cub Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management also shared the bullish sentiment and increased its position by 1.47 million shares to 4.25 million shares. The shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) have rallied by 66% over the last year. A leading e-commerce player in China, the company has also diversified into gaming, digital payments, and financial services. For the third quarter of fiscal 2017, the company reported earnings of $9.02 per share on revenues of $53.25 billion, which exceeded the consensus estimates of $7.74 and $50.15 billion, respectively. A growing cloud computing and core e-commerce business led to better than expected quarterly performance. At the end of the fourth quarter, 86 funds tracked by us held shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) worth $5.89 billion in aggregate, versus 104 funds with stakes valued at $8.26 billion at the end of September.

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Lone Pine Capital grew bearish on Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUMand sold its entire holding which had contained 6.26 million shares during the fourth quarter. Among other sellers of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) were Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, Dan Loeb’s Third Point and Israel Englander Millennium Management. The company owns leading brands such KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, which have 42,000 restaurants in over 130 countries and territories. Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) reported earnings of $0.79 per share for the fourth quarter of 2016, topping the consensus estimate of $0.74. However, revenue of $2.02 billion missed the expected $2.09 billion figure. It benefited from strong sales registered by KFC and Taco Bell segments, but Pizza Hut sales fell by 2% during the quarter. Though the number of hedge funds from our database bullish on Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) stock remained unchanged at 42, the value of their holdings declined by 43% to $2.3 billion during the last quarter.

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Lone Pine Capital also exited its position in Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ:MNST) as it sold 12.44 million shares. On the other hand, Point72 Asset Management bought 312,000 shares of Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ:MNST) and held 796,800 shares at the end of 2016.  The company announced a 3:1 stock split in October last year. The manufacturer of energy fruit drinks and natural soft drinks should gain from a declining trend in consumption of carbonated soft drinks. Shares of Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ:MNST) declined by more than 10% in 2016. During the fourth quarter, the number of funds from our database holding shares of Monster Beverage Corporation declined by four to 35, while the aggregate value of their positions slid to $931 million from $1.69 billion.

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Disclosure: none