Chinese e-commerce website Alibaba.com was the hot initial public offering of the year on Wall Street. And not surprisingly, shares of Alibaba wound up in the portfolios of many well-known money managers in the third quarter.
Hedge Funds Third Point, Viking Global Investors, Paulson & Company and Soros Fund Management were some of the hedge funds that disclosed sizable ownership stakes in Alibaba when they submitted filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
The regulatory filings, known as 13-Fs, are quarterly updates from large money managers about their holdings in stocks traded in the United States.
Hedge fund Viking Global Investors, the fund led by O. Andreas Halvorsen, reported having about 11 million shares of Alibaba, while Daniel S. Loeb’s Third Point reported a stake of 7.2 million shares. Soros Fund Management, which manages the wealth of George Soros, had 4.4 million Alibaba shares. John A. Paulson’s fund said it had 1.9 million shares.
Also reporting a large stake in the Chinese company was Tiger Management, led by Julian Robertson, one of the best-known hedge fund managers. It said it had about 1.2 million shares. Moore Capital, the fund led by Louis Bacon, reported having about 1.5 million shares.
Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors and Barry Rosenstein’s Jana Partners disclosed holding smaller stakes in Alibaba. BlueMountain Capital Management disclosed it owned 303,031 shares, while Appaloosa Management said it had 725,000 shares. Even the family office of Stanley Druckenmiller, the billionaire investor, said it had 10,000 shares of the e-commerce company.
Alibaba raised about $22 billion in one of the largest I.P.O.’s ever, and shares soared 38 percent in the first day of trading.
Investor interest in Alibaba had built up well before its stock market debut in September. But a number of prominent hedge fund managers — Mr. Loeb of Third Point, David Tepper of Appaloosa Management and Mr. Bacon among them — pressed for one-on-one meetings with the company in the run-up to the I.P.O.
The 13-F filings offer the first glimpse of which hedge fund managers and mutual funds were able to pick up Alibaba shares. More broadly, they offer a window into the thinking of money managers as they move in and out of stocks. But 13-F filings also do not provide a full picture. They disclose only what money managers, including hedge funds, were invested in as of 45 days ago — something investors should keep in mind when reviewing any 13-F quarterly report. Moreover, October was a particularly volatile month, meaning stock positions could have changed substantially. The filings also do not require investors to disclose short positions, or bets that a stock will fall in price. And sometimes the S.E.C. will permit investors to keep stock positions confidential for a while.
But the filings can reveal some interesting developments.
For instance, Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global Management sharply increased its stake in Soufon Holdings, a Chinese real estate Internet company in the third quarter. The firm reported owning 14 million shares as of Sept. 30, up from 863,648 shares at the end of the second quarter.
Jana, the activist hedge fund run by Mr. Rosenstein, disclosed in its filing that it also owned 842,268 shares of McDonald’s, a move that contributed to a 1 percent gain in McDonald’s share price in early trading on Friday. Moore also reported having 450,000 shares in McDonald’s.
Elsewhere in the world of fast food, another hedge fund, Fir Tree Partners, reported having 1.5 million shares in Burger King Worldwide. In late August, Burger King agreed to buy Tim Hortons, the Canadian chain of coffee-and-doughnut shops.
But while some hedge funds clustered around a few stocks, disagreement was common. The Fortress Investment Group, for example, disclosed owning five million shares in Ally Financial, the onetime financing arm of General Motors. Paulson, meanwhile, sold two million Ally shares, disposing of its entire position.
Dan Loeb of Third Point sold his position in Hertz, a previously disclosed move. The rental car company said on Friday that it would revise its recent financial statements after discovering errors.
Some new positions reflected headlines. Hedge fund Appaloosa Management disclosed owning 1.4 million shares in Lorillard, the tobacco company that agreed in July to be bought by its larger rival Reynolds American. Soros said it had five million shares in Yahoo, which owns a stake in Alibaba and received a cash windfall in the I.P.O.
Jana, whose activist strategy often involves pressing companies to make changes, took positions in some of the corporate battles of the day. The hedge fund showed a roughly 0.4 percent stake in Valeant Pharmaceuticals, the Canadian pharmaceutical company that has teamed up with the hedge fund manager William A. Ackman in a hostile bid for Allergan, the maker of Botox.
Speaking of Ackman, his Pershing Square Capital Management finds itself on the opposite side of the debate of Herbalife with Tiger Consumer Management. Tiger Consumer, the hedge fund led by Patrick McCormack, disclosed that it acquired a 1.78 million share stake in Herbalife in the third quarter.
Herbalife has been under assault from Mr. Ackman for nearly two years. Mr. Ackman, who said he spent $1 billion to open a bearish bet on the company’s stock, contends Herbalife is an illegal pyramid scheme and has been openly predicting the company will collapse.
This is not the first time that Tiger Consumer has had position in shares of Herbalife, according to earlier 13-F filings.
The billionaire hedge fund magnate John Paulson disclosed that he bet heavily on corporate inversions, in which United States companies buy foreign rivals in an effort to relocate abroad to reduce their taxes.
His firm, Paulson & Company, disclosed buying 13 million shares in AbbVie, which at the time had agreed to buy the Irish drug maker Shire. The hedge fund also added 5.3 million shares to its holdings in Shire. That deal fell apart last month after the Obama administration clamped down on some of the economic benefits of inversions.
Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate run by Warren E. Buffett, added to its telecommunications and media holdings, more than doubling its stake in the cable provider Charter Communications, to five million shares, and buying eight million shares of Liberty Media.