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What Were the Top Holdings of Citadel Advisors in Q3?

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At the end of Q3 2019, Citadel Advisors’ portfolio of publicly traded securities was worth around $212.04 billion. In Q2 2019 and Q3 2018, its portfolio was worth $155.1 billion and $180 billion, respectively. Noted hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin founded Citadel Advisors in 1990. In this article, we’ll look at its top holdings, buys, and sells in the third quarter.

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Top buys

In Q3 2019, Apple (AAPL) call and put options, Verizon Communications, Alphabet (GOOGL), and Charter Communications (CHTR) were Citadel top buys. Please read How Are Citadel Advisors Hedging their Portfolio? to learn about its top buys in Q2 2019.

Similar to Citadel’s holdings, Apple also constituted around 25.9% of Berkshire Hathaway’s total portfolio publicly traded securities in the third quarter. Also, Berkshire Hathaway was the second-largest institutional investor in Apple. With around 324.7 million shares, the Vanguard Group was the largest institutional owner in the tech titan.

However, Verizon’s top 10 institutional investors’ sentiments were mixed in the third quarter. Notably, half of the top-10 institutional holders reduced their holdings. Further, Citadel Advisors bought around 9.2 million Verizon shares, the largest buy by any institutional investor.

In Q3 2019, Victory Capital Management and Bank of America added around 4.1 million and 3.1 million shares, respectively, of Verizon stock. They were the second- and third-largest institutional buyer of Verizon shares. D.E. Shaw also added 2.1 million shares of Verizon. To learn more about its other buys, please read D.E. Shaw & Co.: Where Is David Shaw Bullish?

In the third quarter, the majority of the top-10 institutional investors of GOOGL reduced their holdings. A similar trend was observed among Charter Communications’ top-10 institutional holders.

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Citadel’s top sells

Citadel’s top sells in Q3 2019 were the S&P 500 (SPY) call and put options, the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) put options, Tesla (TSLA) put options, and Red Hat. IBM acquired Red Hat for $34 billion, which we detailed in IBM Acquires Red Hat: Reiterates Blockchain and AI Ambitions.

In Q3 2019, eight of the top-10 institutional investors in Tesla had added its shares to their portfolios. Notably, Baillie Gifford & Co. was the largest institutional investor in TSLA stock.

Contrary to Citadel, Royal Bank of Canada added 2.8 million TSLA’s put options in the third quarter. Allianz Asset Management added TSLA’s put options, making it the second-largest buyer of TSLA’s put options among the institutional holders.

In early November, hedge fund manager David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital posted significant losses on its short position in Tesla stock.

Citadel’s top holdings

In Q3 2019, Citadel’s top-five holdings were the S&P 500 put options, Amazon (AMZN) put options, the S&P 500 call options, Amazon call options, and Apple call options. These options contracts constituted 5.5%, 3.1%, 3.1%, 2.4% and 1.5%, respectively, of Citadel’s total portfolio of publicly traded securities.

In the third quarter, Citadel’s top equities holdings included United Technologies Corporation (UTX) and Celgene Corporation (CELG). To learn more about other hedge funds, please read Bridgewater: What Are Ray Dalio’s Top Investing Ideas?

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