Markets opened lower on Thursday amid Saudi-Iran tussle at the OPEC meeting in Vienna, which has put price control measures in jeopardy. Some of the stocks worth watching today are Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL), Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX), Box Inc (NYSE:BOX) and General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS). Let’s find out what’s putting these stocks in the spotlight today and see the hedge funds’ sentiment towards each of them.
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Apple Issuing Bonds in Asia Pacific
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in the spotlight today after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is issuing bonds in Taiwan and Australia as part of its plans to raise $3 billion to $4 billion in debt in the Asia Pacific region to generate funds for dividend payments and share buybacks. Approximately 90% of the total cash of Apple is placed outside the US. The source said that Apple uses the offshore debt sales for raising funds for its share buybacks and dividends. Apple will start its bond issues in Taiwan and Australia with $1 billion in each market, the report claimed, citing a person familiar with the matter. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s stock is down by over 1% so far today. As of the end of first quarter 2016, 152 hedge funds from our system are long Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) with approximately $14.8 billion worth of shares in aggregate. Billionaire Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management has the biggest stake among these investors with the total ownership of more than 11 million shares.
Whistle Blower Sues Oracle over Exaggerated Accounting
Shares of Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) declined by more than 4% today after the company was hit with yet another lawsuit on Wednesday. Svetlana Blackburn, a former senior finance manager at the company, filed a whistleblower lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, claiming that she was fired when she didn’t comply with the top management’s orders to falsify and exaggerate the Cloud revenue figures. Svetlana claims that her bosses told her to add “millions of dollars” to the financial reports without any backing. In a statement, Oracle’s spokesperson Oracle spokeswoman said that the company doesn’t agree with the allegations and intends to “vigorously” defend in the court. Out of the total funds tracked by Insider Monkey, 62 funds amassed around $7.9 billion worth of Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL)’s stock at the end of March 2016. Robert Rodriguez and Steven Romick First’s Pacific Advisors owbs more than 25 million shares of the company.
On the next page, we will discuss Phillips 66, Box and General Mills.
Warren Buffett Amasses More Phillips 66 Shares
Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) is gaining ground today after a Securities and Exchange Commission filing revealed that legendary investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway amassed nearly 538,000 shares of the Houston based energy manufacturing and logistics company. Berkshire increased its hold on the company by 23% in the first quarter, and now owns 14.1% of the company’s total stock. Apart from Berkshire Hathaway, David Cohen and Harold Levy’s Iridian Asset Management is another notable shareholder of the company with approximately 3.9 million shares. Overall, 34 hedge funds are long Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) as of the end of the first quarter.
Box Beats Estimates
Box Inc (NYSE:BOX) posted better-than-expected fiscal first quarter financial results on Wednesday. The Redwood-based cloud company posted an adjusted loss of $0.18 a share, better than the analysts’ estimate of a loss of $0.24 per share, while revenue came in at $90 million, above the estimates of $88.65 million. For full fiscal 2017, the company expects EPS of $0.78 to $0.75, versus the consensus of $0.84. In a statement, Box said that billings in the quarter were hurt by increasing volatility in the business and shift to annual payment durations from multi-year prepayments. Box Inc (NYSE:BOX) plunged more than 9% this morning. As of the end of March, only 11 hedge funds from our database reported stakes in Box Inc (NYSE:BOX). Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management has more than 3.8 million shares of the company.
E.Coli Outbreak Probably Due to General Mills’ Flour
General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) is in hot water after U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday that the flour produced at General Mills Kansas City plant is probably the cause of the E.Coli outbreak that has spread across 20 states, resulting in 38 people sick, between December 21, 2015 and May 3, 2016. In a statement, General Mills said that it has not found any evidence of harmful flour in its products and Kansas City facility, which is up and running as of Wednesday. However, the company announced to “voluntarily” recall 10 million pounds of flour on Tuesday. Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management is one of the 25 hedge funds from our database with stakes in General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) as of the end of the first quarter of 2016. It owns more than 2.6 million shares of the company.