Druckenmiller Was Betting on These Top Names in Q4


Feb. 19 2019, Updated 3:00 p.m. ET

Druckenmiller’s top buys

In this article, we’ll discuss Stanley Druckenmiller’s top buys in the fourth quarter. Druckenmiller seemed to be positive on emerging markets, as the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) formed 3.8% of his portfolio at the end of the quarter. His views seem to align with those of investors in Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s February survey. For the first time in the survey’s history, “long” emerging markets (EEM) have been February’s most crowded trade, cited by 18% of the managers.

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This shift is even more interesting given that just last month, “short” emerging markets were the third most crowded trade. After a terrible 2018, this year is turning out very well for emerging markets. Year-to-date, emerging market stocks have risen ~8%, whereas they fell 17% last year. Brazil (EWZ) is off to a flying start.

Intuitive Surgical and Illumina

Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) was Druckenmiller’s new bet for the quarter. He bought 110,300 shares, accounting for ~3% of its portfolio value. ISRG manufactures robotics for assisting in minimally invasive surgery. Many other hedge funds, including Renaissance Technologies and Millennium Management, also hold Intuitive Surgical.

Another important addition by Druckenmiller during the fourth quarter was Illumina (ILMN), accounting for ~2.4% of his portfolio. Illumina is a global genomics leader that provides sequencing solutions to research and clinical markets. Illumina stock rose 34% last year, strongly outperforming broader markets (SPY) (DIA). However, the stock has been flat this year.

Druckenmiller bet on Delta Air Lines

Druckenmiller also picked Delta Air Lines (DAL) during the fourth quarter, which formed 1.8% of his portfolio. The company reported its fourth-quarter results on January 15. Its top and bottom lines both surpassed analysts’ estimates and improved significantly year-over-year. Going forward, analysts believe Delta will continue benefiting from the healthy demand for travel. The company’s cost-control measures, fleet transformation, and One Delta initiatives are expected to continue to drive its bottom line.


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