Prominent investors rekindle affection for Amazon in Q2 as stock price jumps

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Several prominent investors including hedge fund Baupost Group and mutual fund giant Fidelity bought or increased their holdings in retailer during the second quarter as its stock surge helped fuel Wall Street’s rally.

Baupost Group owned 963,946 shares in Amazon on June 30, according to a regulatory filing made late on Friday. Soros Fund Management owned 769,061 Amazon shares at the end of the second quarter, representing an increase of more than 8% in its holdings. And Senator Investment Group boosted its ownership by 35% to hold 440,000 shares at the end of the quarter, their filing showed.

Amazon’s stock price boomed during the pandemic when homebound shoppers relied on the retailer for toilet paper, groceries and much more. Then the share price tumbled 50% last year as many technology companies announced cuts and their stock prices skidded lower.

Since January, Amazon’s stock price has surged 61% and it is one of a small number of stocks powering the S&P 500 index’s 17% gain this year after a 20% drop last year.

Friday’s filings are made by money managers to detail how much they owned in U.S. companies at the end of the second quarter. They are made public with a 45 day lag and while they are backward looking many investors scour them for trends.

Mutual fund giant Fidelity, long a big owner of Amazon, increased its holdings by 1% to own 280,451,570 shares at the end of the second quarter, their filing showed. The filing did not break down which funds bought the shares.

Investor GQG Partners LLC reported making a new investment and owning 15,476,122 shares at the end of the quarter.

Asset managers must make their so-called 13-F filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission by the end of business on August 14 and the bulk of filings will become public on Monday.

What investors who bought Amazon during the second quarter did not know yet was how well the company fared during those three months. It reported an 11% gain in second quarter revenue and topped analysts’ expectations when it reported earnings earlier this month. Management also pointed to a strong third quarter and the stock price rose on the earnings report.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss with additional reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by David Gregorio)