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15 Best Stocks to Buy According to Billionaire D.E. Shaw

In this article, we will take a detailed look at the 15 Best Stocks to Buy According to Billionaire D.E. Shaw. For a quick overview of such stocks, read our article 5 Best Stocks to Buy According to Billionaire D.E. Shaw.

David Elliot Shaw is an American billionaire and computer scientist who founded D. E. Shaw & Co. in 1988.  David. E. Shaw's net worth stands at about $8.3 billion. D.E. Shaw's performance has been impressive over the years to say the least. Since inception, the fund has returned about 12.5% with only one down year. The fund has posted double-digit gains in 17 out of the past 22 years.

D.E. Shaw has $60 billion in assets under management. The firm continues to expand and launch new funds. Last year, an SEC filing showed that D.E. Shaw was raising money for D. E. Shaw Alkali Fund VI, the newest fund in its Alkali group of funds. The firm also raised a whopping $1.1 billion last year for two new private investment vehicles: D. E. Shaw Voltaic Fund and D. E. Shaw Diopter Fund.

Bloomberg reported that D.E. Shaw's biggest hedge fund D.E. Shaw Composite Fund posted a 9.6% gain for 2023, outperforming Hedge Fund Research's (HFR) Global Hedge Fund Index tracking hedge funds globally, which was up about 2.5% in 2023 through December 15. Reuters also added that D.E Shaw's macro-oriented fund, the Oculus Fund, was up 7.8% in 2023, beating an index of macro economic peers tracked by Hedge Fund Research. The Oculus fund has never had a negative year since inception, according to Bloomberg.

 Best Stocks to Buy According to Billionaire D.E. Shaw
Best Stocks to Buy According to Billionaire D.E. Shaw

David E. Shaw of D.E. Shaw

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For this article we scanned the Q4'2023 portfolio of D.E. Shaw & Co and picked the fund's top 15 stocks. Hedge funds’ top 10 consensus stock picks outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here).

15. Affirm Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:AFRM)

DE Shaw's Stake: $461,171,382

Fintech company Affirm Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:AFRM) ranks 15th in our list of the best stocks to buy according to billionaire DE Shaw. DE Shaw owns a $461 million stake in Affirm Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:AFRM) as of the end of 2023.

As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2023, 31 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey had stakes in Affirm Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:AFRM).

14. Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU)

DE Shaw's Stake: $503,684,873

Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU) has been making waves as analysts and experts believe Micron Technology Inc's (NASDAQ:MU) new AI-focused chips could make it a formidable player in the AI industry. Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU) shares recently jumped after Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU) said it began volume production of its high-bandwidth memory semiconductors, HBM3E (High Bandwidth Memory 3E). These chips would be used in NVIDIA H200 Tensor Core GPUs.

DE Shaw is positioned to benefit from these gains if and when they come. The billionaire's fund had a $504 million stake in Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU) as of the end of the fourth quarter of 2023.

13. Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM)

DE Shaw's Stake: $507,265,927

Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) ranks 13th in our list of the best stocks to buy for 2024 according to billionaire DE Shaw. Bloomberg recently reported Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) has received several offers for its holdings in Argentina's Vaca Muerta shale formation. These assets are valued at about $1 billion.

As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2023, 85 hedge funds out of the 933 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey had stakes in Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM). The biggest stakeholder of Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) was Ken Fisher's Fisher Asset Management which owns a $1.32 billion stake in Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM).

12. Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)

DE Shaw's Stake: $543,547,266

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares have fallen by about 19% and many analysts are questioning Tesla Inc's (NASDAQ:TSLA) future amid weakness in the EV industry. DE Shaw cut its stake in Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) by 23% in the fourth quarter of 2023, ending the period with a $543 million stake.

Recently, Elon Musk revealed in an SEC filing that he held a 20.5% stake in Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) as of the end of 2023.

O’keefe Stevens Advisory stated the following regarding Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

“In my Q4 2022, l made three predictions: 1. One of our top 25 holdings gets acquired 2. TSLA is a sub $200B market cap by the end of 2023 3. Crypto, the final blow.

Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) is a sub $200B market cap by the end of 2023. Grade: D. TSLA performed contrary to expectations, appreciating approximately 100% in 2023 and ending the year with an $880 billion market cap. We were “just a bit outside,” but I’m not convinced our reasoning was flawed.

The typical strong correlation between earnings estimates and stock prices did not hold for TSLA during the year. Positive revisions suggest a company outperformed expectations, resulting in a higher price/valuation. Negative revisions suggested estimates were too high, and the stock should decline to meet a weaker outlook…” (Click here to read the full text)

11. Alphabet Inc Class C (NASDAQ:GOOG)

DE Shaw's Stake: $586,351,988

Alphabet Inc Class C (NASDAQ:GOOG) shares are down amid the latest saga regarding its Gemini's image generation feature. Alphabet Inc Class C (NASDAQ:GOOG) also seems to be having a hard time keeping up with competitors ever since the AI race began following the launch of ChatGPT. But DE Shaw increased its hold in the search engine giant by 17% in the fourth quarter of 2023, entering the new year with a $586 million stake in Alphabet Inc Class C (NASDAQ:GOOG).

The FPA Crescent Fund stated the following regarding Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) continued going from strength to strength during 2023 despite concerns that competition may infringe on the company’s dominant position in Search. Thus far, Alphabet has continued to hold its own, and we look forward to seeing how the company incorporates further AI developments across the Alphabet ecosystem. Lastly, we are hopeful that the impending arrival of a new CFO will bring a renewed focus on efficiency – an area where we believe Alphabet has ample room for improvement.”

10. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE:RCL)

DE Shaw's Stake: $632,386,298

As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2023, DE Shaw's fund had a $632 million stake in Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE:RCL).

Hedgeye recently added Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE:RCL) as a new long idea. Here is what Hedgeye said in a note about the stock:

"RCL raised EPS and yield growth guidance by healthy amounts while also confirming that their Trifecta goals are to be met this year. Despite the initial guidance range coming in above expectations a few weeks ago, we had anticipated that there would still be a steady stream of beat and raise events throughout the year."

Ariel Fund made the following comment about Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) in its Q2 2023 investor letter:

“Several stocks in the portfolio had strong returns over the period. Global cruise vacation company, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL), was one of the top 3 performers in the S&P 500 during the quarter. Shares surged following a significant top- and bottom-line earnings beat, as stronger than anticipated consumer demand is driving a record WAVE season. Forward booking trends are also ahead of historical ranges at record pricing. These factors combined with further improvement in onboard spend and solid cost containment led management to increase RCL’s full-year 2023 guidance. We believe the revised revenue and earnings outlook lays the foundation for RCL to exceed its’ three-year strategic imperative, the Trifecta Program.”

9. Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BKNG)

DE Shaw's Stake: $675,990,168

DE Shaw decreased its stake in Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BKNG) by 28% in the fourth quarter of 2023, concluding the period with a $676 million stake in Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BKNG).

As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2023, 83 hedge funds out of the 933 funds tracked by Insider Monkey had stakes in Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BKNG). The most significant stake in Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BKNG) is owned by Ken Fisher's  Fisher Asset Management, worth $1.3 billion.

Ensemble Capital Management stated the following regarding Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

“Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) (7.60% weight in the Fund): Earlier this year, Booking Holdings rolled out an AI trip planner. Traditionally Booking helps users find the right hotel by offering a search engine to define which city you want to stay in and apply various filters to narrow down the hotel options. With Booking’s AI Trip Planner, a user can use natural language such as “plan a road trip on Route 66, starting in Chicago and ending to Los Angeles.” The Trip Planner then engages with the user like a travel agent, suggesting which cities to stay in each night and various sights to see along the way. Once the trip is planned out, the user can use natural language to generate hotel options, such as by writing “My budget is $200 to $300 a night. It will be my husband and I traveling together.”

Booking’s experiments in AI demonstrate the value of proprietary data sets. While general AI systems such as ChatGPT are designed to answer questions about anything, focused AI systems that leverage a company’s unique data can be far more powerful when applied to specific use cases. With Booking’s AI Trip Planner, the system is unable to answer questions unrelated to making travel reservations. But on the other hand, it is far more likely to understand what the user wants since it already knows that the entire conversation will be about travel. Importantly, Booking’s AI Trip planner has access to the company’s enormous dataset that includes hotel ratings, popular hotels, and all sorts of detailed information about each hotel.”

8. Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER)

DE Shaw's Stake: $886,123,136

DE Shaw increased its stake in ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) by 30% in the fourth quarter of 2023. Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) shares have gained about 34% in 2024 through February 26.

As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2023, 129 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey had stakes in Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER).

RiverPark Large Growth Fund stated the following regarding Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

“Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER): UBER was a top contributor in the quarter following better than expected 3Q23 earnings and 4Q23 guidance. Gross bookings of $35.3 billion were up 21% year over year. Mobility gross bookings of $17.9 billion grew 30% over last year driven by a combination of product innovation and driver availability. Delivery gross bookings of $16 billion were up 16% from last year and continued to be strong throughout the quarter. 1Q Adjusted EBITDA of $1.1 billion, up $576 million year over year, was better than management’s guidance of $1 billion, and the company generated $900 million of free cash flow, up from $358 million last year. Management guided to continuing growth in 4Q Gross Bookings (23.5% growth) and Adjusted EBITDA (of $1.2 billion).

UBER remains the undisputed global leader in ride sharing, with a greater than 50% share in every major region in which it operates. The company is also a leader in food delivery, where it is number one or two in the more than 25 countries in which it operates.1 Moreover, after a history of losses, the company is now profitable, delivering expanding margins and substantial free cash flow. We view UBER as more than a ride sharing and food delivery service; we also see it as a global mobility platform with 142 million users (by comparison, Amazon Prime has 200 million members) and the ability to penetrate new markets of on-demand services, such as package and grocery delivery, travel, and hourly worker staffing. Given its $5.2 billion of unrestricted cash and $5.1 billion of investments, the company today has an enterprise value of $128 billion, indicating that UBER trades at 21x our estimates of next year’s free cash flow.”

7. Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX)

DE Shaw's Stake: $963,518,479

Ranking seventh in our list of the best stocks to buy according to billionaire DE Shaw is Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX), which is up about 25% year to date through February 27. During the fourth quarter of 2023, Netflix Inc's (NASDAQ:NFLX) revenue increased by 12.5% year over year to $8.83 billion, beating estimates by $120 million.

RiverPark Large Growth Fund stated the following regarding Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX): NFLX was a top contributor in the quarter following strong third quarter earnings and fourth quarter guidance driven by better-than-expected subscriber adds (+8.8 million versus estimates of +6.1 million). The company’s subscriber growth continued to accelerate following the company’s crack down on password sharing, and the rollout of the advertising supported subscriber offering known as the Ad Tier. ARPU came in below expectations, but management announced price increases in the US, UK and France effective immediately. NFLX guided full year 2023 operating margins to the “high end” of the prior guidance, guided 2024 operating margins to a range of 22-23%, ahead of investor expectations of 22%, and raised 2023 free cash flow guidance from $5 billion to $6.5 billion. The recent re-acceleration of subscriber growth, plus price increases on premium memberships and a stabilization of content investments, should position the company for low double digit annual revenue growth over the next few years while driving improved operating margin to more than 25% (revenue grew 8% for 3Q23 and operating margin was 22.4%, up from 13% in 2019). We also believe that the stabilization of content spend should allow the company to continue to scale its FCF.”

6. Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:META)

DE Shaw's Stake: $993,649,609

Over the past one year Meta Platforms Inc's (NASDAQ:META) shares have gained about 184%, thanks to the AI-led efforts Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:META) is making that are reviving growth and engagement at its platforms. DE Shaw, with a $993 million stake in Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:META), has been reaping rewards of this investment.

As of the end of the last quarter of 2023, 242 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey had stakes in Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:META).

Baron Fifth Avenue Growth Fund stated the following regarding Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

“Improving unit economics: Many of our companies were able to significantly expand margins during 2023 even though revenue growth decelerated for some of them, showcasing the power of their capital-light, recurring revenue business models, and their increased focus on efficiency. One public example that was at least partially responsible for driving other companies (especially in IT) to become more efficient is X (formerly Twitter), which reduced headcount by a whopping 80% after Elon Musk’s acquisition, despite growing user engagement. Another well-known example is Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), for which cost controls and margin expansion this year have been a key reason behind the stock’s outperformance (Mark Zuckerberg called 2023 the year of efficiency). Other less well-known examples include the commerce platform, Shopify, which is expected to expand its operating margins from breakeven to 10.9% in 2023 thanks to the sale of its money-losing logistics business, and a 23% reduction in its workforce. What is even more impressive is that the company was able to accelerate innovation velocity (with a lower headcount) as well as improve sales and marketing productivity.”

 

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Disclosure: None. 15 Best Stocks to Buy According to Billionaire D.E. Shaw is originally published on Insider Monkey.