Daniel Benton‘s Andor Capital Management is long/short hedge fund that is primarily focused on the technology sector, but also invests in the consumer discretionary stocks as well as Industrials and Energy sectors. At the end of the third quarter, Andor held an equity portfolio worth $2.15 billion, up from $1.84 billion in the previous quarter. The fund has raised its exposure to some of its top holdings during the third quarter and we will look into them in more details. The companies that represent Andor’s top three holdings in terms of value are Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been Andor’s top pick for the last several quarters. The fund reported ownership of 1.25 million shares, valued at $303.35 million in its latest 13F filing, unchanged over the quarter. Andor has been holding shares of Tesla since the second quarter of 2013, and initially it owned 300,000 shares, but over the last year and a half, it surged its stake in the company. The stock of the $30 billion producer of electric cars and batteries surged by almost 130% since the end of the second quarter of 2013 as the company gained more popularity. Even though the stock took some hits from analysts, with the latest one being Morgan Stanley questioning Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s ability to ramp up its production of the next vehicle, Model X with problems around its falcon wing rear doors, even though CEO Elon Musk reiterated that the company will not abandon the falcon wing doors idea.
Nevertheless, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) growing popularity among investors that send the stock higher, as well as the company’s prospects, which make it one of the leaders in the electric vehicle segment, make it an attractive investment opportunity, even though its stock price might be considered a bit too high. John Thaler‘s JAT Capital Management is another shareholder of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), owning 948,800 shares as of the end of September.
Next in line is Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) in which Andor has raised its position by 15% during the July-September period. The fund owns 5.75 million shares of the company as of the end of the third quarter, with an aggregate value of $296.59 million. Mr. Benton added Twitter to Andor’s equity portfolio during the third quarter of last year, while its stock depreciated by some 37% year-to-date, which, however, was perceived by the investor as a sign to buy as it strenghtened its position from 2.25 million shares held initially.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) represents another top holding in Andor’s equity portfolio, in which the fund increased its stake. During the third quarter, the fund added 650,000 shares and raised the position to 2.75 million shares. The stock has been present in Andor’s equity portfolio since the first quarter of 2013 and while the stock almost doubled since then, the investor raised its exposure to the company from 700,000 shares it held initially. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) represents an obvious choise for a technology-focused fund, as the company is one of the leaders in the sector. Investors and analysts are bullish on Apple since its business model allows it to keep its customers by introducing new versions of its products and at the same time it allows the company to add more customers and raise its sales numbers, as David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital said.
However, even though Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) remains the top most popular stock held by hedge funds, according to our data, many investors have actually reduced their exposure to the company and as the number of funds went up to 153 from 152, the aggregate value of their stakes declined by 2.71 billion to $22.51 billion. One of the reasons for this change could be Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA)’s IPO in the third quarter, following which the stock also made the top 10 list of most popular picks among funds. The great activist investor Carl Icahn is one of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s largest shareholders, owning 52.76 million shares as of the end of September.