Top U.S. hedge funds boost Alibaba stakes in first quarter




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.S. hedge fund managers increased their stakes Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) at the end of the first quarter, positioning themselves to take advantage of any upswing after the e-commerce company’s stock took a beating after a surprise revenue miss January.

Soros Fund LLC, Tiger Global LLC, Viking Global Investors LP and Moore Capital LP were among those that added to their Alibaba. Farallon Capital LLC took a fresh stake in the company, buying 221,000 shares valued at $18.4 .

The moves come after a disappointing earnings report in January that sent the stock plunging 20 percent during the first quarter.

The company’s shares have recovered, up 6.3 percent since the end of March and up nearly 8.8 percent in May alone. The company stronger quarterly results in May and appointed a new .

was a smart move,” said Gil Luria, an analyst Wedbush Securities. “These hedge used the negative sentiment as an to buy the stock at a depressed level.”

Among those who boosted their stake, Soros Fund added 44,604 shares to its 4.4 stake. Tiger Global Management increased its stake by 15 percent to 6.7 shares at the end of March, while Viking Global almost doubled its shares to 6.9 . Tiger Management, led by Julian Robertson, raised its stake 11 percent to 636,878 shares. And Louis Bacon’s Moore Capital Management boosted its stake some 15-fold to 2.1 million shares from just 138,345 shares at the end of last year.

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“This is a classic example of the public sentiment being less positive and the so-called ‘smart money’ seizing on related opportunities,” said S&P Capital IQ analyst Scott Kessler.

Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC and John Paulson’s Paulson & Co took an opposite stance, Third Point dissolving its 10 -share Alibaba stake and Paulson vacating its 1.93 share at the end of the first quarter. The moves came after they had steadily built up their positions in previous quarters.

The firms are among big hedge reporting their positions as of the end of March. .S. regulators require large investors to disclose stock holdings every quarter, providing a window into the strategies of some of the biggest managers. The disclosures, known as 13F filings, are due Friday.