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Al Gore’s Investment Firm Bought Alibaba and Salesforce. It Sold Cisco and Microsoft.

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Former Vice President Al Gore in 2019.

Scott Heins/Getty Images

The investment firm co-founded and chaired by former Vice President Al Gore has made big changes in its U.S.-traded investments.

Generation Investment Management loaded up on shares of Chinese online giant


Alibaba Group Holding

(ticker:


BABA

) and cloud firm


Salesforce
.
com (CRM) in the first quarter, exited an investment in networking giant


Cisco Systems

(


CSCO

), and halved an investment in software behemoth


Microsoft

(MSFT).

The firm, which is based in London, disclosed the trades, among others, in a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Generation, which is focused on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, declined to comment on the investment changes. The firm managed more than $36 billion of assets as of March 31.

Generation bought 629,639 additional Alibaba American depositary receipts to end the first quarter with 4.4 million ADRs. Alibaba ADRs fell 8.4% in the first quarter, compared with a 5% slip in the


S&P 500 index

; so far in the second quarter, ADRs have dropped 14%, compared with a 8.2% slip in the index.

Alibaba has faced potential delisting in the U.S. Still, the NYSE expects more Chinese listings in the U.S. Alibaba has been hurt by China’s zero-Covid policy, in addition to an overall softer e-commerce market for retail.

Spending has remained strong in digitizingEd? and or is there something else missing? boosting Salesforce. Investors, however, remain wary of a potential demand slowdown. The prospect of a recession looms, and Salesforce is one of several companies that have already moved to curtail hiring.

Salesforce stock slipped 16.5% in the first quarter; so far in the second, shares have tumbled 22%.

Generation bought 1.1 million more Salesforce shares to end the first quarter with 1.8 million shares.

Generation owned 8.8 million Cisco shares at the end of the fourth quarter, and sold them all in the first quarter.

Cisco stock tumbled 12% in the first quarter; so far in the second, shares have slipped 18%.

Cisco reported a disappointing fiscal third quarter earlier this month, along with guidance that fell short of estimates. The results were poor enough to harm not only shares of Cisco, but those of peers.

Microsoft stock is also in the red this year, falling 8.3% in the first quarter, and 11% so far in the second. Some observers see a buying opportunity. The tech giant is increasing stock-based compensation to retain staff in the face of inflation and higher costs of living. The company’s strong earnings indicate cloud demand is still rising.

Generation sold 523,800 Microsoft shares to end the quarter with 547,622 shares.

Inside Scoop is a regular Barron’s feature covering stock transactions by corporate executives and board members—so-called insiders—as well as large shareholders, politicians, and other prominent figures. Due to their insider status, these investors are required to disclose stock trades with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other regulatory groups.

Write to Ed Lin at edward.lin@barrons.com and follow @BarronsEdLin.

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