According to the 13F Form filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies sold off its stake in numerous prominent equities last quarter. Some of the most noteworthy positions dropped by the prestigious investment firm included Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Medtronic PLC (NYSE:MDT), Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN), and Conoco Phillips (NYSE:COP).
Renaissance Technologies is a New York-based hedge fund that was founded in 1982 by mathematician Jim Simons. Until 2010 when he retired from his position as the firm’s CEO, Mr. Simons was responsible for creating one of the world’s most successful hedge funds. The founder and former CEO of Renaissance Technologies is still actively linked to the firm and continues to profit from its funds. According to Forbes, the billionaire hedge fund founder’s earnings last year were estimated to be around $1.1 billion. Furthermore, last quarter Mr. Simons’ firm revealed an equity portfolio valued at $41.42 billion, up from $36.52 billion last quarter.
Renaissance Technologies sold out of a total of 416 positions last quarter, one of them being its stake in Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). The hedge fund had entered the company in the second quarter of 2013, when it purchased 177,800 shares. After numerous transactions, Mr. Simons’ firm finally dropped the entire position of 233,700 shares by the end of last year. Renaissance Technologies seems to have picked a good time to invest in Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), since during the time the fund held the stock, share prices gained more than 105%. Considering year-to-date the stock has actually lost around 6% of its value, selling out of the position now was a great move.
After years of holding a stake in the company, Renaissance Technologies finally exited its position in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT). As revealed by the 13F filing, last quarter the fund shed its remaining 1.13 million shares of the retail firm’s stock. Last year, the stock gained an unspectacular though solid 9.4%, while the quarterly dividend of $0.48 per share made shares attractive to long-term investors. However, changes to the company’s pay scale that will result in many employees getting large raises over the next two years, could trim earnings. Warren Buffett is still bullish regarding the company however, as his Berkshire Hathaway holds a position of 60.38 million shares. It is actually one of Mr. Buffett’s favorite stocks at the moment and was amongst his top picks last quarter. Furthermore, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is backed by numerous institutional investors and billionaire hedge fund managers, such as David E. Shaw and Andreas Halvorsen.