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Stan Druckenmiller, David Tepper Lead Family Offices Betting on AI

“AI is very, very real and could be every bit as impactful as the internet,” Stephe Druckenmiller said.

(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire investing titans Stanley Druckenmiller and David Tepper loaded up on stocks benefiting from the artificial intelligence boom during the first quarter. 

Druckenmiller’s Duquesne Family Office increased its stake in Nvidia Corp., a chipmaker that’s been a key beneficiary of the increased interest in AI, according to the firm’s quarterly 13F filing. Nvidia’s stock is up 98% so far this year, making it one of the top performers in the S&P 500 Index. 

“AI is very, very real and could be every bit as impactful as the internet,” Druckenmiller said at the 2023 Sohn Investment Conference last week. 

Duquesne Family Office added more than 208,000 shares of Nvidia during the first quarter, increasing the market value of the firm’s holding in the chipmaker to about $220 million.

Tepper’s Appaloosa Management added a new position in Nvidia, buying 150,000 shares with a market value of about $41.7 million. The firm also bought 500,000 new shares of Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation ETF, which invests in companies that create disruptive technologies. While the fund has lost three-quarters of its value since its high in early 2021, it has gained 23% this year.

Duquesne Family Office added a large new position in Microsoft Corp., which now makes up 9% of the firm’s roughly $2.3 billion US equities portfolio. Microsoft has a $10 billion investment in OpenAI, whose ChatGPT tool has lit up the internet.

Druckenmiller’s firm also added a new position in Iqvia Holdings Inc., a health-care technology company that says on its website it has “transformative AI capabilities” to help with its research and commercial efforts. Duquesne bought about 474,500 shares of the company during the first quarter with a market value of $94 million.

The two investing legends built their fortunes as hedge fund managers. Druckenmiller has a net worth of $9.9 billion and Tepper has a net worth of $16.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Money managers overseeing more than $100 million in US equities have to file a 13F form within 45 days of the end of each quarter to list their holdings in stocks that trade on US exchanges. It’s one of the few places to gain insight into how hedge funds and some large family offices invest.

Here are other highlights from 13F filings: 

  • Iconiq Capital continued to slash its stake in cloud-computing company Snowflake Inc. in the first quarter, selling 4.85 million shares. The market value of its holding totaled about $1 billion, down $625 million from the prior quarter. The San Francisco-based firm only made two new buys in the first quarter, adding small positions in game companies Roblox Corp. and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. worth less than $1 million.
  • The Saudi sovereign wealth fund bought almost 8.8 million shares of Electronic Arts Inc. during the first quarter, when the stock slumped following a disappointing earnings outlook. The Saudis held about 16 million shares prior to the first quarter, and held 24.8 million, with a market value of $2.99 billion, as of March 31. That makes them the largest outside stockholder in EA.
  • George Soros’s investment firm cut holdings in electric-vehicle makers, slashing a stake in Rivian Automotive Inc. after a 90% share decline. Soros Fund Management also sold off its entire $16 million position in Tesla Inc., which it acquired during a big tech push in the second quarter of 2022. It trimmed other tech-related bets, including stakes in Alphabet Inc., Inc., Salesforce Inc. and Intuit Inc.
  • The investment firm that manages the Walton family’s fortune bought more shares of the nearly $38 billion Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF. WIT LLC also added a new position in the SPDR Bloomberg 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF with a market value of roughly $10 million.

--With assistance from Biz Carson and Miles Weiss.

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