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.
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.
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.
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.
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.