George Soros’ Soros Fund Management hedge fund has unloaded its stake in Apple (AAPL) and Snap (SNAP) and reduced positions in Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR). (See more: Apple's Market Cap Crosses $900B.)
According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the fund sold off 1,700 shares of the Cupertino, California iPhone maker and 1.55 million shares of Snap during the September quarter. The moves eliminated the hedge fund’s stake in two companies that couldn’t have more different stories. Apple’s stock has been surging all year, up 46% so far in 2017, thanks to strong demand for its new line of iPhones, including the iPhone X which starts at a price of $999. The huge interest in the device is expected to boost margins and thus profits and get it closer to reaching $1 trillion in market capitalization. At the close of trading Tuesday, Apple’s market cap stood at $879.7 billion. Meanwhile, Snap has been struggling ever since its IPO, with shares trading way under the $17 a share IPO price as the company reports disappointing quarter after quarter. Shares are 26% lower than the price it began trading at in March. (See more: Snap Has Monetization Challenges: Morgan Stanley.)
In addition to dumping its position in Apple and Snap, Soros Fund Management also reduced its holdings in Facebook and Twitter, again two companies with diverging stories. Its stake in Facebook was reduced by 367,262 shares in the third quarter, although the firm still holds 109,451 shares. Soros lowered its holdings of Twitter by 5,700 shares to 18,400. Facebook’s stock is up 44% so far in 2017 as it enjoys growth in both users and advertising dollars. Even meddling in the U.S. election by Russia hasn’t deterred Facebook investors who keep sending the stock higher. Meanwhile, Twitter is struggling with user growth and remaining relevant in a social media world that is increasingly moving to video content. Twitter has inked deals on that front, but the stock has failed to take off like its rival. Shares are up more than 17% so far this year.
The billionaire investor wasn’t only selling shares during the third quarter. Soros Fund Management increased its stake in Microsoft (MSFT) by purchasing 99,000 shares and in Amazon (AMZN) by acquiring 2,500 shares.