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Soros buys stakes in Alphabet, eBay, Symantec in Q2'19

Soros Fund Management LLC, the family office of George Soros, initiated a position in Alphabet Inc. in the second quarter.

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In its most recent Form 13F filing, Soros disclosed ownership of 65,750 class A shares of Alphabet, worth $71.2 million and representing the family office's seventh-largest common stock holding at the end of June. It had been the third-largest common stock exit in the first quarter. Alphabet reported normalized EPS of $14.21 in the second quarter, substantially above the consensus estimate of $11.46, as well as the highest estimate collected by S&P Global Market Intelligence of $13.38.

Other second-quarter additions to the portfolio included eBay Inc. and Symantec Corp., with stakes valued at $42.1 million and $40.4 million, respectively, at June 30. EBay beat its second-quarter consensus EPS estimate and raised its full-year outlook. Symantec will be returning more capital to shareholders after agreeing to sell its enterprise security business to Broadcom Inc. on Aug. 8.

Another notable portfolio entry was Slack Technologies Inc., which began trading on the NYSE on June 20. Shares debuted up 49% from the $26 reference price per share.

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Soros exited 39 common stock holdings in the second quarter, including several companies in the information technology sector. The three largest exits were IT companies: Ceridian HCM Holding Inc., Coupa Software Inc. and inc.

The 16th-largest common stock exit was Netflix Inc., which had been a first-quarter initiation with a March 31 value of $17.8 million. Reversing a multiyear trend, Netflix's domestic paid streaming subscribers decreased to 60.1 million at June 30 from 60.2 million at March 31.

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The series C common stock of Liberty Broadband Corp. Inc. remained Soros' largest disclosed holding. During the second quarter, the fund trimmed its stake in the media company 0.6%.

Soros more than doubled stakes in four common stock holdings: Celgene Corp., UnitedHealth Group Inc., BGC Partners Inc. and Denbury Resources Inc. Celgene announced a sale to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. in January.

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The largest change in Soros' holdings of exchange-traded funds was the addition of Invesco QQQ. Soros purchased more than 1.1 million shares of the ETF in the second quarter. At June 30, the implied value (number of shares multiplied by the ETF price) of the stake was $217.6 million. On the other hand, Soros sold shares in iShares Russell 1000 ETF and SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust.

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