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Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies Is Bearish on TSLA

Rabindra Samanta - Author

May 19 2020, Published 9:20 a.m. ET

On May 14, Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies filed its 13F for the first quarter of 2020. Simons founded Renaissance, also known as “RenTech,” in 1982. The hedge fund is famous for its quantitative techniques for stock picks. In the first quarter of 2020, the hedge fund reduced its holdings in Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).

Tesla was the hedge fund’s largest sell. In the fourth quarter of 2019, Tesla accounted for 1.27% of Renaissance Technologies’ total portfolio of publicly traded securities. Tesla was the hedge fund’s second-largest holding. In the first quarter of 2020, the figure fell to 0.4%. Interestingly, the hedge fund reduced its position on Tesla when the stock had almost doubled. Read How Did Tesla Become Renaissance Technologies’ Gem? to learn more.

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Renaissance Technologies’ other top sells

At the end of the first quarter of 2020, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and General Electric (NYSE:GE) were Renaissance Technologies’ second and third-largest sells. On a YTD (year-to-date) basis, Facebook has risen 3.8%, while General Electric has fallen 43.8%. General Electric could be highly impacted by COVID-19. The sharp decline in General Electric’s stock prices might point to this factor. In the last quarter, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) were Renaissance Technologies’ fourth and fifth-largest sells.

The hedge fund also reduced its stake in BP. In April, the energy sector witnessed the sharpest decline in decades. Surprisingly, WTI crude oil prices entered into negative territory.

Top buys

At the end of the first quarter of 2020, Bristol-Myers Squibb was Renaissance Technologies’ largest buy. Bristol-Myers Squibb accounted for 3.75% of the hedge fund’s total portfolio of publicly traded securities and was also the largest holding. The hedge fund’s other top buys were Allergan, Novo Nordisk A/S, Zoom Video Communications, and Baidu ADR.

In the first quarter of 2020, Renaissance Technologies also doubled its holding in Randgold Resources. Gold prices rose during the market turmoil. Gold mining companies’ stock prices have risen more than the rise in gold prices. For example, on a YTD basis, gold active futures have risen 14%, while Randgold Resources’ stock prices have risen 46.3%.

Renaissance Technologies also increased its stake in Duke Energy. Usually, utilities outperform other sectors during market turmoil. Utilities also offer a steady income through regular dividends. On Monday, Duke Energy’s dividend yield was at 4.5%.


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