Soros Fund Management, the hedge fund founded and led by billionaire iconic investor George Soros, made some big moves during the first quarter of 2017. These investment decisions were recently revealed via the funds' 13-F filings, made with the SEC in advance of the May 15 deadline and now available to the public for perusal. Like other 13-Fs, Soros' documents detail the billionaire's holdings at the beginning and end of the quarter in question. Looking at the differences in number of shares and names held from the beginning of this period to the end can give analysts a sense of the net buys and sells that Soros made during this time, at least in those categories of investments which the 13-F deals with. Here are some of the highlights from the first quarter.
Roughly 40% Increase in Goldman Shares
One of the biggest changes for Soros Fund Management in the first few months of 2017 was that the fund bought up more shares of Goldman Sachs Group (GS). Soros increased its position in Goldman Sachs to 86,000 shares, marking a boost of about 40% from the beginning of the year. Analysts at Business Insider have speculated that this increase may have been linked with financials selling pressure increases during the first quarter of the year.
Soros Climbed Aboard the Snap Train
Soros' 13-F also reveals that the billionaire went along with the popular trend of investing in Snap Inc. (SNAP), the newly formed and newly public parent company to Snapchat, between January and March of this year. Soros bought 1.7 million class A shares of Snap, according to his 13-F. While Snap has had a difficult time maintaining its IPO price levels, the company nonetheless commanded significant investor attention after its public offering in March. In just the past few days, the stock price has dropped by nearly a quarter following the release of some disappointing earnings for the first quarter, and it has also recently climbed by 8% on a separate occasion. Like many other investors, it seems that Soros may be interested in Snap over the longer term.
Soros also made some other significant investment changes in the first quarter. His fund included a new purchase of more than 638,000 class A shares of Facebook (FB), an increase of more than 80% from its previous stake. It bought up new shares of American Airlines (AAL) and Microsoft (MSFT) as well.
13-Fs are difficult to use for specific investment decisions looking ahead, as the documents only reveal net changes in certain types of positions and ony for a previous quarter. In the fast-moving investment world, this information may be long outdated. Nonetheless, analysts like to look at decisions by big-name investors like Soros for ideas of how the most successful money managers played the markets.