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Soros initiates stakes in Lyft, Netflix but exits Alphabet, Amazon

Soros Fund Management LLC, the family office of investor George Soros, opened a small equity position in Lyft Inc. in the first quarter. According to the office's most recent Form 13F filing, Soros held 200,000 shares of the ride-hailing company at the end of March, valued at $15.7 million.

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Lyft, a competitor of Uber Technologies Inc. but with a different business model, had one of the largest and most anticipated tech initial public offerings in years. Shares debuted on the Nasdaq on March 29, closing up 8.7% from the IPO price of $72. But it has been a downhill and bumpy ride for the shares since then. The stock plunged below the offering price the next trading day, and as of May 15, it had lost about one-quarter of its value relative to the IPO price. Although the stock has disappointed IPO investors, Lyft exceeded analyst expectations for first-quarter earnings announced on May 7.

Netflix Inc. was another notable first-quarter entry. Soros purchased 50,000 shares of the streaming company worth $17.8 million at March 31. The stock rallied by about one-third in the first quarter. Netflix topped its subscriber guidance during the quarter but projected higher free cash flow deficits.

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Two of the most prominent portfolio exits were Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., with stakes worth $26.1 million and $24.0 million, respectively, at year-end 2018. Common stock exits in the first quarter totaled $322.9 million.

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Soros kept its Liberty Broadband Corp. Inc. position unchanged, and it remained the office's top common stock holding. Shares in Liberty Broadband appreciated 27.4% in the first quarter.

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In the exchange-traded fund space, Soros' biggest move was more than tripling the number of puts on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY). The implied value of the puts — calculated by the number of shares multiplied by the ETF price — was $312.1 million at March 31. Balancing out that position to some extent were regular shares of SPY with a market value of $28.6 million.

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Click here to view Soros Fund Management LLC's current common stock holdings.

Company filings including the 13F can be found through the filings archive tab on a company's briefing book page.