Friday, September 18, 2020

Jim Simons’ Renaissance fund dumped Apple and Amazon and boosted its Tesla stake last quarter


jim simons renaissanceAP Images / Jason Decrow

  • Renaissance Technologies sold its Apple and Amazon stakes and ramped up its Tesla investment last quarter, a regulatory filing shows.
  • Jim Simons’ quantitative hedge fund likely raked in $600 million to $900 million by selling the two tech stocks.
  • RenTech also raised its Tesla stake by 44% after slashing it by 80% in the first quarter.
  • Moreover, the fund increased its Zoom position by 160%, making the startup one of its five most valuable holdings.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Renaissance Technologies, one of the largest and most successful hedge funds in history, cashed out its Apple and Amazon stakes and boosted its position in Tesla last quarter, according to a regulatory filing.

RenTech, a quantitative hedge fund founded by Cold War codebreaker and MIT math professor Jim Simons, sold its roughly 193,000 Amazon shares and 979,000 Apple shares in the three months to June 30.

It probably raked in a total of $600 million to $900 million, based on the two stocks’ trading ranges in the period. The sales will fuel concerns that the tech titans, which have skyrocketed in value this year, are overpriced and set to retreat.

Read more: Warren Buffett should cut his $110 billion Apple stake, veteran Berkshire Hathaway investor says

RenTech, which relies on algorithms to make many of its trading decisions, also lifted its stake in Tesla by 44% to 1.1 million shares. The move is a swift reversal for the fund, given it owned 3.9 million shares in Elon Musk’s electric-car company at the end of December 2019, only to sell 80% of them in the first quarter of this year.

Even so, Tesla was RenTech’s 10th most valuable holding at the end of June, up from its 42nd biggest at the end of March. Its rise up the ranks reflected the share purchases and Tesla’s stock price more than doubling last quarter.

RenTech’s other notable trades included boosting its stake in Zoom Video Communications by about 160% to 7.3 million shares. Those were worth $1.8 billion at the end of June, meaning the video-conferencing platform was the fund’s fourth-biggest holding.

Read moreFred Liu’s Hayden Capital has returned more than 100% in 2020. He breaks down the simple strategy he used to pinpoint 2 stocks that grew 10 times within just a few years.

Overall, RenTech’s stock portfolio rose in value by 13% to $116 billion last quarter, after tumbling 22% in the first quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic.



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