International Business Machines’ retirement fund just disclosed some big changes to its U.S.-traded portfolio, including in the shares of its parent company.
(ticker: IBM) Retirement Fund bought more IBM,
(MSFT) stock in the third quarter, and also exited an investment in
(FANG) in the period. The fund disclosed the trades, among others, in a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The fund, which managed $1.16 billion in U.S.-traded securities as of Sept. 30, declined to comment on the stock trades. S&P Capital IQ puts the fund’s total assets at about $40 billion.
The investment in IBM stock isn’t a big one for the retirement fund, but it did materially increase holdings by buying 8,120 more IBM shares in the third quarter to end the period with 30,136 shares of the enterprise-computing giant.
IBM stock sports a year-to-date loss of 13.5% through Friday’s close, a bit of a rebound from the 17% first-quarter drop when the coronavirus pandemic was roiling markets. By comparison, the
S&P 500 index,
a broad measure of the market, has gained 7.3% year to date.
Shares came under pressure this week after analysts noted the company is having issues adjusting to shifting patterns in spending for IT services. These concerns overshadowed IBM’s third-quarter earnings, which met expectations.
The fund bought 142,345 additional Apple shares on a post-split basis to end September with 554,229 shares of the iPhone maker. Apple stock split 4-for-1 at the end of August.
Apple stock has been on a tear in 2020, surging 57%. Demand for the new iPhone 12 models has been strong. Our latest Big Money Poll found that Apple stock was one of the favorites among money managers, but also one seen as overvalued.
Microsoft stock has also had a prosperous 2020, rising 37%. One observer is upbeat about the prospects for the software giant’s Azure cloud-computing services. Last month Microsoft made a $7.5 billion acquisition of a videogame publisher, a good move, we think.
IBM’s retirement fund bought 132,282 additional Microsoft shares to end the third quarter with 252,859 shares.
The fund also exited a relatively small investment in embattled Diamondback, purging the 3,668 shares of the energy explorer it held at the end of June.
Diamondback stock has felt the bite of depressed energy prices and oversupply. Shares took most of their lumps in the first quarter, when they cratered 72%, but the year-to-date loss still stands at 69%.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @BarronsEdLin.