Sequoia Bought More Facebook, Sold More Amazon in Third Quarter

(Bloomberg) -- The Sequoia Fund bought more shares of Facebook Inc. in the third quarter, according to Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb.

"We added slightly to our position in Facebook," Ruane’s investment committee wrote in a letter dated Oct. 3. The fund, which managed $4.5 billion as of August, had initiated a small stake in the social-media giant during the first quarter, when shares plunged in reaction to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

New York-based Ruane also announced that partner and former Chief Executive Officer David Poppe will retire at the end of the year.

Facebook sank 15 percent in the third quarter on concerns over slowing user growth stemming from a disappointing earnings report. The underperformance was a stark contrast to the strength exhibited by other members of the FAANG complex: Apple Inc. surged 22 percent in the same period while Amazon.com Inc. rose 18 percent.

Sequoia is seeking to rebound after holdings in Bausch Health Companies Inc., formerly Valeant Pharmaceuticals, dragged down returns in 2015 and 2016. The fund’s largest position at the end of the third quarter was Alphabet Inc., which accounts for almost 12 percent of the portfolio, while Amazon is its sixth-largest holding, a stake that it has been trimming over the past two quarters, according to the quarterly letters.

Other reduced positions in the third quarter were Mastercard Inc., TJX Companies Inc., Rolls-Royce Holdings and Constellation Software Inc. The fund also took a new position at the end of the quarter that it won’t disclose until all purchases are complete.

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