Billionaire George Soros’ firm added shares in Google Inc. and Comverse Technology Inc. in the fourth quarter, leading purchases of technology stocks by asset managers in the quarter.
Soros Fund Management LLC bought 258,774 shares of Mountain View, California-based Google, the largest maker of smartphone software, bringing the total position to 259,900 shares valued at $167.9 million as of Dec. 31, according to a filing yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Soros increased holdings of information technology stocks by 12 percent in the quarter.
Hedge funds Lone Pine Capital LLC, Maverick Capital Ltd. and Lansdowne Partners LP also added to Google during the quarter, seeking to profit from a surge in technology stocks. Information technology stocks returned 19 percent over the past six months, the best out of 10 industry groups in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
Lone Pine, the Greenwich, Connecticut hedge fund run by Steve Mandel, bought shares of Google and Teradata Corp., increasing his technology holdings by 4.9 percent during the quarter. His Google stake was valued at $870 million at the end of the quarter, according to a regulatory filing. His holdings of Dayton, Ohio-based Teradata, a data-storage software company, were worth $336 million.
Soros also added 14.7 million shares of New York-based Comverse Technology valued at $101 million at the end of the quarter. The firm sold 1.38 million shares, or 85 percent of its stake, in Visteon Corp., an auto-parts maker based in Van Buren Township, Michigan.
The value of the firm’s U.S. stock holdings was $4.18 billion at the end of December, according to the filing.
Michael Vachon, a spokesman for Soros, declined to comment.
Soros Fund Management decided in July to return outside capital and focus on running assets for Soros and his family, who made up the bulk of its then $25.5 billion assets, to avoid having to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission by March 2012.
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