Viacom, Inc. (VIAB), Oracle Corporation (ORCL), and United States Steel Corporation (X): Top New ‘Old’ Picks by Renaissance Technologies

Jim Simons is one of the greatest investors, whose stock picking skills made him one of the richest people in the world. Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technology‘s moves are tracked closely by smaller investors, since they can provide some insights regarding opportunities to invest in companies with a potential to grow. The fund owns a diversified equity portfolio as its 13F filings show. It has disclosed its 13F filing for the third quarter recently, reporting companies in which it has been invested during the third quarter. According to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Renaissance owns over 2,750 holdings, with an aggregate value of around $36.5 billion, down from $42.9 billion at the end of the second quarter. Since the fund has not made any significant changes in its top holdings, we decided to take a look at the new positions that have been reported in the fund’s latest 13F filing. These companies are Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB), Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL), and United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X).


New “Old” Bet on Entertainment

The largest new position in terms of value in Renaissance’s equity portfolio is Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB), of which the fund reported ownership of 1.33 million class B shares, which have a value of $102.14 million.  Interestingly, it is not a new addition, but a sort of “comeback,” since the fund previously was a shareholder of Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB), but sold its 518,900 shares during the first quarter of 2014. The stock lost around 20% year-to-date, although over the last several years it more than doubled in value, so Mr. Simons found the right time to invest again, following the famous principle of “buy cheap and sell dear”. Donald Yacktman‘s Yacktman Asset Management is another investor bullish on Viacom, holding 9.38 million shares as of the end of the third quarter, up by some 25,000 shares over the quarter. Also during the third quarter, Michael Fricklas, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) sold 6,100 shares of the company at $82.10 per unit, while director Blythe Mcgarvie disposed of 2,000 shares at $82.09, reducing the holding to 4,180 shares.

Oracle – A Stock with Bullish Prospects 

The next company on the list of Renaissance new picks is Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL). The investor has previously held shares of Oracle, but also during the first quarter, it sold the stake, which previously contained 2.84 million shares. During the July-September period, the fund initiated a stake with around 2.64 million shares, valued at some $100.88 million. Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL)’s stock gained around 5% since the beginning of the year and analysts are currenty bullish on the stock, which has a consensus rating ‘Overweight’. During the third quarter, Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) has acquired MICROS, which will help it to expand into the Hotels, Food & Beverages and Retail businesses by providing enterprise solutions for companies from these segments. The transaction was valued at $68.00 per share, which raised the total value of the acquisition at around $5.3 billion. Renaissance has been a shareholder of MICROS, but it cut its position significantly during the last year and sold out the stake during the first quarter last holding 91,500 shares. Moreover, aside from Renaissance, another fund that is bullish on Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL), is Natixis Global Asset Management‘s Harris Associates, which added 4.80 million shares during the third quarter and currently owns 75.23 million shares, the company representing the largest holding in the equity portfolio.

Jim Simons Goes Back Into Steel 

Finally, the third largest new position in Renaissance’s equity portfolio is represented by United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X), a $5 billion market cap producer of steel. The fund has previously held shares of the company and closed its position during the first three months of 2013, selling 1.97 million shares. This time, the investor’s new stake amasses around 2.11 million shares, worth $82.61 million. The stock of United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X) gained around 22% year-to-date, while since the fund sold its previous position, it gained over 80%. The company has been raising its revenues over the last year, reporting revenue of $4.59 billion for the third quarter of 2014, versus $4.13 billion for the same period of last year. However, this trend might change as many experts forecast a decline in prices of steel caused by a slowdown in many big economies such as Germany or China and by an excess supply of commodities, which will also drive prices lower.

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