Al Gore’s investment company recently made some big changes to its stock investing.
Generation Investment Management, which the former VP co-founded and chairs, has significantly increased its investments in the software giant
(symbol: MSFT) and e-commerce provider
(SHOP), initiated an investment in the card giant
(MA), and left a position in rival
The stock trades, among other things, were disclosed in a generation form filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the second quarter.
Generation, a London-based firm specializing in sustainable and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, declined to comment. It had more than $36 billion in assets under management as of March 31.
The company purchased 3.7 million Microsoft shares to end the second quarter with 4.2 million shares. Microsoft stock fell 24% in the first half of the year, compared to a 21% decline in
S&P 500 Index
So far in the third quarter, stocks have been flat against a 3.7% rise in the index.
Microsoft reduced employee spending by limiting business travel and company meetings. Consumers have spent less on video games in recent months, which may be a problem for the company, which is in the process of acquiring the game publisher.
(ATVI). Microsoft’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, released in July, posted their weakest profit growth in two years.
Shopify’s second-quarter report from July also disappointed, and revenue growth was hurt by a stronger dollar. Just before the report, Shopify announced the layoff of 1,000 workers, about 10% of its global workforce, as online shopping faded as consumers returned to stores. Meanwhile, Shopfiy CEO Tobe Lutke bought shares of cryptocurrency exchange
which he directs.
Shopify shares plunged 77% in the first half of the year, and so far in the third quarter, shares are down 3.6%. Generation bought 7.4 million shares of Shopify in the second quarter to bring its investment to 7.5 million shares.
The company purchased two million Mastercard shares in the second quarter. She had none at the end of the first trimester. Mastercard stock fell 12% in the first half of the year, and so far in the third quarter, shares are up 2.2%.
Mastercard’s second-quarter earnings, released towards the end of July, were strong, as were earnings from rival Visa. Both companies are betting that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin will one day be widely and regularly used for typical purchases. There’s also a bill circulating that could rock the giant Mastercard and Visa credit card networks.
Speaking of Visa, Generation sold all of its 3.2 million shares in the second quarter. Visa stock fell 9% in the first half of the year, and so far in the third quarter, the stock is flat.
Inside Scoop is a regular Barron column that covers the stock trading of corporate executives and board members – the so-called insiders – as well as major shareholders, politicians and other high profile figures. Because of their insider status, these investors are required to disclose stock trades to the Securities and Exchange Commission or other regulatory groups.
Write to Ed Lin at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @BarronsEdLin.