Changes in the Holdings of Mutual Fund Giant Fidelity Investments

by: SA Editor Rocco Pendola

Last month, I reported news that went under the radar of most analysts and financial media: Fidelity made a drastic cut in its holdings of online video streamer Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). I followed that article up with a broader look at other changes Fidelity disclosed in a slew of SEC filings dated April 8th. On Tuesday, Fidelity released another batch of SEC filings detailing other changes to its massive portfolio, which spans, particularly, across its universe of mutual funds.

You can search through a complete list of the filings, dated May 10th, here.

In this article, I highlight several moves Fidelity made that caught my attention. In each case, I use information from the SEC filing denoting Fidelity's present stake in the company. I compare today's disclosure with end-of-2010 data gathered from each company's profile at Yahoo! Finance as well as each stock's Monday closing price and repsective 52-week highs and lows. Yahoo! (YHOO) generates its information from the same SEC filings.

Company (Ticker) Holdings*, as of 12/31/2010 Holdings*, as of 5/10/2011 Monday, 5/10/2011 closing price 52-week low/high
Eastman Kodak (EK) 13,323,474/ 4.95% 30,893,609/ 10.7% $2.89 $2.75/$6.39
Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM) 11,123,368/ 5.94% 2,053,467/ 1.1% $34.91 $32.64/$54.65
SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA) N/A 2,086,331/ 13.0% $46.22 $23.15/$48.64
Global Crossing (NASDAQ:GLBC) 9,074,656/ 15.1% 2,219,987/ 3.63% $26.71 $10.09/$26.84
Meru Networks (NASDAQ:MERU) 2,408,104/ 14.07% 1,302,613/ 7.6% $18.07 $10.44/$27.33
Vera Bradley Designs (NASDAQ:VRA) 3,760,061/ 9.28% 5,941,676/ 14.67% $50.63 $22.00/$50.96
Options Xpress (NASDAQ:OXPS) 5,693,497/ 9.91% 1,027,913/ 1.79% $18.58 $13.86/$21.07
Big 5 Sporting Goods (NASDAQ:BGFV) 1,550,053/ 7.1% 2,215,823/ 10.15% $10.00 $9.72/$16.75
Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) 18,111,833/ 7.3% 5,016,712/ 2.07% $25.35 $18.30/$29.85
Medifast (NYSE:MED) 1,539,890/ 9.98% 264,890/ 1.72% $24.03 $15.64/$38.23

*Holdings displayed as number of shares owned/% of outstanding shares owned, as of date indicated.

In some cases, Fidelity's logic appears quite straightforward. It's clearly making value/bargain plays by increasing its holdings in EK and BGFV. Fidelity could be, particularly in Big 5's case, banking on a takeover. In the cases of VRA and SODA, Fidelity provides a vote of confidence to two recent IPOs, both right near their respective 52-week highs. The plays on GLBC, OXPS, and EXPE -- all signficant cutbacks in Fidelity's stake -- come after M&A or some other type of restructuring activity. Fidelity might have missed the boat on MED, decreasing its exposure just before the company reported blowout earnings. With AKAM and MERU, Fidelity could simply be getting out of two stocks it perceives as headed in the wrong direction.

While investors can never be sure why the "smart money" makes the moves it makes, they can use this type of publicly-available information to help inform their trading and investment decisions.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a short position in NFLX over the next 72 hours.

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