High-profile investors scale back tech exposurePosted on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 04:44 am
By Matt Andrejczak, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Big-name investors reduced their holdings in the technology sector during the first quarter, banking some profits after building positions last year, regulatory filings showed Tuesday.
Tech put in a stellar performance during the first quarter, with the Morgan Stanley High-Tech Index
up 22% and Philadelphia Semiconductor Index
Exec margin calls, investor risks
Maxwell Murphy calls out CEOs that pledge their company shares as collateral for loans, a practice prohibited by many large firms. (Photo: Reuters)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
gained about 8% in the same period.
Greenlight Capital, run by notable short seller David Einhorn, exited Yahoo Inc.
in the period ended March 31, selling more than 3 million shares. The fund also chopped its Microsoft Corp.
stake in half to 7.5 million shares.
Greenlight also took down its position in Research In Motion Ltd.
by 45% to 1.6 million shares.
Since last fall, investors have been placing bets on whether RIM, maker of the Blackberry line of devices, can steer itself in the right direction against stiff competition from Apple Inc.
and Google Inc.
in the smartphone market.
Part of the interest has been RIM’s vast intellectual-property portfolio and what its value would be if it were sold off.
Einhorn held onto his Apple shares, while activist investor Dan Loeb of Third Point Partners opened new positions in Apple, Google and Cisco Systems Inc.
during the first quarter.
Loeb has been pushing for changes at Yahoo, recently securing three seats on the Web portal’s board of directors.
Read more about the latest executive shake-up at Yahoo.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc
scaled back its exposure in Intel Corp.
to 7.7 million shares from 11.5 million in the previous period.
Intel’s stock has gained 15% over the last year, but has come under some pressure this month. Berkshire did buy some more shares in International Business Machines Corp.
during the quarter, taking its holdings to 64.4 million shares.
Read more on Buffett buying GM, trimming Intel.
Meanwhile, George Soros’s Fund Management LLC sold his stake in Google, which had amounted to 259,900 shares. His fund also cut its Apple stake to 40,000 shares from 95,000 shares at the end of 2011.
Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors sold off more than 1 million shares of Apple in the first quarter. But Cohen’s firm did increase its holdings in Cisco, Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
and Hewlett-Packard Co.
Read more on Steve Cohen’s stock holdings.