Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they've bought and sold, via "13F" filings. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.
Today, let's look at Tiger Global Management. The company's reportable stock portfolio totaled $5.7 billion in value as of June 30, 2013, and contained just a few dozen stocks. Indeed, the top 10 holdings make up about 57% of the overall portfolio's value.
So what does Tiger Global's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:
The biggest new holdings are Coca-Cola Enterprises, which bottles and distributes its namesake's beverages, and telecom specialist Qualcomm (QCOM -1.70%). Qualcomm is a top player in the smartphone world, supplying iDevices and Android devices alike with its chips. The company just posted third-quarter earnings, featuring revenue and earnings each up more than 30% and management upping projections. Bulls like its expansion into the health-care industry and telemedicine, and are hopeful about a joint venture with Alcatel-Lucent, while bears worry about Intel moving further into Qualcomm's turf. Qualcomm hiked its dividend by 40% earlier this year, and its yield is now at 2.1%. Its dividend has been growing by more than 20% annually in recent years.
Among holdings in which Tiger Global Management increased its stake were fashion accessory specialist Vera Bradley and travel giant priceline.com. It reduced its stake in companies such as China's YY (YY -0.37%) and 3-D printing specialist 3D Systems (DDD 4.40%). You may not have heard of YY, but it's one of the top social media companies, and recently reported a doubling of revenues, with earnings topping expectations. Its music and gaming operations are growing briskly, but my colleague Sean Williams would like to see a stronger track record of long-term growth, as consistency has eluded some other Chinese firms.
Meanwhile, 3D Systems has also been reporting strong growth. It has been upping its share count, too, but bulls see it using that money to invest in growth and has also been posting positive earnings. 3-D printing is still in its infancy, with much promise, and 3D is well positioned within the industry. It has been growing in part via acquisitions, and while some see the stock as a bit overvlaued now, others see it having more room to grow.
Finally, Tiger Global's biggest closed positions included Baidu.com and put options on Google. Other closed positions of interest include industrial 3-D printing company ExOne (XONE) and Frontier Communications (FTR). ExOne, with its forward P/E topping 100 and no current P/E due to negative earnings, doesn't appear to be a bargain. Within the 3-D printing business, it differentiates itself in part by having printers that use sand and metal as raw materials (among other inputs) and not just plastic, as is the case with some rivals. In its second quarter, its revenue and earnings were disappointing, and management lowered its guidance. But my colleague Steve Symington has pointed out that it all wasn't so bad. After all, revenue did nearly double! Bears worry about patent expirations, though, and remember that it's still young and small: It sold just 13 printers in 2012.
Finally, there's Frontier Communications, which is saddled with considerable debt but still yielding a whopping 9.3%. Most of its debt isn't due for another year or two, however, so it's focusing on investing in growth right now and is aiming to maintain its dividend. The company is shifting its focus from landline operations toward higher-margin businesses such as broadband and serving business customers. Its stock has been heavily shorted, with bears worrying about the sustainability of the dividend. Bulls point to its strong free cash flow, though, and its success in paying down debt, and they see it as undervalued.
We should never blindly copy any investor's moves, no matter how talented the investor. But it can be useful to keep an eye on what smart folks are doing. 13-F forms can be great places to find intriguing candidates for our portfolios.