Who Were Zulily’s Top Institutional Investors in 1Q15?



Citadel Advisors closed position in Zulily

In the first quarter of 2015, about 31 hedge funds closed their position in Zulily (ZU), including Ken Griffin’s Citadel Advisors. The performance of online retailers correlates directly with the number of orders they get and the growth of active customers. Zulily is an online retailer headquartered in Seattle and was launched in 2010.

According to aggregated 13F data, there were a total of 33 hedge funds that lowered their position in ZU during the fourth quarter of 2014. Among institutions that sold their positions in ZU in 1Q15, Citadel Advisors was ranked first in terms of shares sold. Apex Capital, Numeric Investment Advisors, and Menta Capital were the other hedge funds that exited their positions in ZU in 1Q15.

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Four hedge funds had ZU in their top ten holdings. As of December 31, 2014, institutional investors owned 60 million shares of Zulily. Hedge fund investors that created new positions in ZU in 1Q15 included JAT Capital, Cornerstone Capital, NISA Investment, Wildcat Capital, and Paragon Capital, to name a few.

In this series, we’ll go through Zulily’s scorecard over the last quarter to see if these bets paid off and take a deeper look into ZU’s current and longer term drivers. We’ll also analyze ZU from the point of view of a multi-strategy fund and look at whether different hedge funds used ZU as a fundamental bottom-up play, a top-down play, or as part of a larger play on online retail companies. Zulily sells clothing, shoes, home decor, toys, gifts, and more to online customers at reasonable prices.

Hedge fund positions in Zulily’s competitors

Zulily’s competitors in the US include eBay (EBAY) and Amazon (AMZN). Around 120 hedge funds created a new position in eBay in the first quarter of 2015 and a total of 134 hedge funds created new positions in Amazon in 1Q15. To gain exposure to the e-commerce industry, investors should consider ETFs such as the PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (QQQ) and the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY). Respectively, QQQ and XLY invest about 3.5% and 6% of their holdings in Amazon.


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