Seeking Alpha

Tracking Ken Fisher's Fisher Asset Management Portfolio - Q4 2019 Update

John Vincent
Long only, value, special situations, fund holdings
Summary

Fisher’s 13F portfolio value increased from $91.13B to $98.96B in Q4 2019.

Apple, Visa, Microsoft, Amazon.com, and Alibaba Group Holdings are the largest five individual stock positions.

Fisher has substantial stakes in several ETFs/ETNs and hundreds of very small positions. Together, they account for more than one-third of the 13F portfolio.

This article is part of a series that provides an ongoing analysis of the changes made to Kenneth Fisher’s 13F stock portfolio on a quarterly basis. It is based on Fisher Asset Management’s regulatory 13F Form filed on 02/12/2020. Please visit our Tracking Kenneth Fisher's Fisher Asset Management Holdings article for an idea on his investment style and philosophy and our previous update highlighting the fund’s moves in Q3 2019.

This quarter, Fisher’s 13F portfolio value increased ~9%, from $91.13B to $98.96B. The number of holdings decreased from 903 to 898. Significantly large positions decreased from 66 to 62. The five largest individual stock positions are Apple Inc. (AAPL), Visa Inc. (V), Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon.com (AMZN), and Alibaba Group Holdings (BABA). Together, they account for ~18% of the 13F stock portfolio.

Note: Fisher manages ~68,000 private client accounts and over 150 institutional accounts. Each such portfolio is personalized to client requirements, and beating the S&P is not the focus for many of them. "13F Portfolio performance", which would be the performance of the sum total of all such monies in 13F securities, is an unknown. Some institutions pulled money from Fisher Investments in October last year following inappropriate comments by Ken Fisher that were made public. Despite that negative, Fisher Investments still managed to attract more investment capital during the quarter.

To know more about Ken Fisher, check out his Research Papers (most notably in Behavioral Finance) and investment books.

Stake Increases

Visa Inc.: The Visa position was first purchased in 2012 at much lower prices compared to the current price of ~$207. The size of the stake has more than tripled in the last six years through incremental purchases almost every quarter. The position is now the second-largest stake at 3.84% of the portfolio.

Amazon.com: AMZN is the fourth-largest individual stock position at 3.30% of the portfolio. The stake is from 2011, and the stock price has risen over ten-fold during the holding period: the cost basis is ~$200 compared to the current price of $2160. Q2 2016 saw a ~20% selling at prices between $586 and $728. There was another ~16% selling in Q2 2017 at prices between $885 and $1011. The three quarters through Q1 2018 had seen a ~15% increase at prices between $935 and $1600, while the following quarter saw a similar reduction at prices between $1370 and $1750. There were minor increases in the last six quarters.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE): PFE is a very long-term 1.80% position that has been in the portfolio for well over a decade. The original stake was almost sold out in the 2009-10 time frame and was rebuilt in the next two years at prices between $17.50 and $25. The stock is currently at $37.74. The last two years have seen a ~25% stake increase at prices between $34 and $46.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): JNJ is a 1.78% of the portfolio position. Around two-thirds of the stake was purchased in 2008 at prices between $55 and $72, and most of the rest in 2011 at prices between $58 and $68. The stock currently trades at ~$151. There was a ~12% stake increase in Q1 2018, and that was followed with a similar reduction in Q3 2018. The last five quarters have seen minor increases.

American Express (AXP): AXP has been in the portfolio since 2012. The original position was around 9M shares purchased at an average cost in the $50s, and the current stake is 13.76M shares. The last seven quarters have seen a combined ~35% stake increase at prices between $91 and $128. The stock is now at ~$133 and the stake is at 1.1.73% of the portfolio.

Salesforce.com (CRM) and Adobe Inc. (ADBE): These two positions had seen large increases over the last four quarters. The 1.19% CRM position saw a ~180% increase in Q4 2018 at prices between $121 and $160, and another ~55% increase next quarter at prices between $130 and $167. Last quarter also saw a ~30% stake increase at prices between $140 and $160. The stock is now at ~$190. ADBE is a 1.38% portfolio stake that saw a ~300% increase in Q4 2018 at prices between $205 and $275, and another ~75% increase next quarter at prices between $216 and $272. Last quarter also saw a ~30% stake increase at prices between $272 and $311. The stock is now at $374. Both positions saw marginal increases this quarter.

Walmart Stores (WMT): The bulk of the 1.32% WMT position was purchased in Q2 2016 at prices between $65 and $73. Q4 2017 saw a ~45% stake increase at prices between $78 and $100, and that was followed with a ~12% increase next quarter. The stock is now at ~$116. The last seven quarters also saw a combined ~13% increase.

Tencent Holdings ADR (OTCPK:TCEHY): The majority of the 1.25% TCEHY stake was purchased in Q2 2017. The quarter saw a 13.5M share purchase at prices between $29 and $37. The stock is now at $53.49. The next two years had also seen incremental purchases. There was a ~23% stake increase last quarter at prices between $40.50 and $47.50. The current position is at ~25.62M shares. This quarter also saw a marginal increase.

Total S.A. (TOT): The majority of the 1.11% TOT stake was purchased in Q3 2018 at prices between $59 and $65. Q2 2019 saw a ~20% selling at prices between $51.50 and $58, while last quarter there was a ~40% stake increase at prices between $48 and $57. The stock is currently near the low end of those ranges at $49.81. This quarter saw a marginal increase.

Procter & Gamble (PG): PG is a long-term 0.65% of the 13F portfolio position that has been in the portfolio since before the financial crisis. The original position was increased by just over 75% in 2012 at prices between $60 and $70. The six-year period through 2018 had also seen periodic buying. Q1 2019 saw an about-turn: a ~50% selling at prices between $90 and $104. The stock currently trades at ~$124. The last three quarters have seen only minor adjustments.

AstraZeneca plc (AZN), BHP Billiton (BBL), BNP Paribas ADR (OTCQX:BNPQY), Caterpillar (CAT), Chevron Inc. (CVX), Costco Wholesale (COST), Eli Lilly (LLY), GlaxoSmithKline plc ADR (GSK), HSBC plc (HSBC), ING Groep NV ADR (ING), LVMH Moet Hennessy ADR (OTCPK:LVMUY), L'Oreal S.A. ADR (OTCPK:LRLCY), Novartis AG ADR (NVS), Rio Tinto (RIO), SoftBank Group ADR (OTCPK:SFTBY), Sanofi ADR (SNY), SAP AG ADR (SAP), Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB), Siemens AG (OTCPK:SIEGY), and United Technologies (UTX): These small positions (less than ~1% of the 13F portfolio) were increased this quarter.

Stake Decreases

Apple Inc.: AAPL is now the top position at 4.16% of the portfolio. It was built in 2012 at prices between $60 and $72. The original stake was increased by ~60% in Q2 2013 at prices between $59 and $65. There was a ~9% trimming in Q2 2017 at prices between $141 and $156. The stock currently trades at ~$327. The two years through Q2 2019 had seen a combined ~30% increase at prices between $144 and $230. The last two quarters have seen only minor adjustments.

Microsoft Corporation: MSFT is a top-three 3.40% of the portfolio position. It is a very long-term stake that has been in the portfolio for well over a decade. The two years through Q2 2019 had seen a combined ~30% increase at prices between $69 and $137. The stock is now at ~$185. Last quarter saw a ~3% stake increase, while this quarter there was marginal trimming.

Alibaba Group Holdings: BABA is a top-five 2.83% of the portfolio stake. The original position was from Q2 2015 at prices between $81 and $93. Q1 2017 saw a two-thirds increase at prices between $88 and $110. That was followed with a ~90% increase next quarter at prices between $107 and $144. The stock currently trades at ~$224. There was a ~28% stake increase over the last nine quarters at prices between $132 and $217.

Alphabet Inc. (GOOG, GOOGL): GOOG was a very small position that was built up to a substantial 2% stake in 2011 at prices between $242 and $301. The stock price has increased more than five times and currently trades at $1518. The position stands at 2.27% of the portfolio. There was a ~14% reduction in Q2 2017 at prices between $823 and $984, while Q1 2018 saw a similar increase at prices between $1000 and $1176. Since then, the activity has been minor.

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM): TSM is a very long-term 1.80% of the 13F portfolio position. A large block was purchased in 2012 at prices between $12.50 and $16.50. The position has wavered. In recent activity, the ten quarters through Q4 2018 saw periodic buying, while the last year saw a combined ~15% trimming. The stock currently trades at $59.63.

Intel Corporation (INTC): The bulk of the 1.63% portfolio stake in INTC was built in 2008 in the high teens. The position has seen consistent incremental buying since 2013. There was a ~10% stake increase in Q1 2018 at prices between $42.50 and $52.50. The stock is currently at $67.46. The last six quarters had seen minor increases, while this quarter there was marginal trimming.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A): These two positions had seen large increases in Q4 2018. The 1.47% CSCO stake saw a ~35% increase at prices between $40 and $49, and the stock is currently at $49.93. RDS.A is a 0.87% of the portfolio position increased by ~70% in Q4 2018 at prices between $55.50 and $69.50. The stock currently trades below that range at $52.65. Both positions have seen only minor adjustments in the last year.

Home Depot (HD): HD is a 1.35% of the 13F portfolio position first purchased in 2012 at prices between $42 and $65. Q2 2017 saw a ~38% selling at prices between $146 and $159, and that was followed with another 28% reduction in Q4 2017 at prices between $150 and $190. There was a reversal next quarter: a ~14% stake increase at prices between $172 and $207. The stock is now at ~$242. Last quarter saw a ~25% stake increase at prices between $202 and $234, while this quarter there was minor trimming.

UBS AG GRS (UBS): UBS is a 0.67% of the 13F portfolio position established in Q3 2013 at prices between $17 and $21.50. The stake has wavered. In recent activity, the three quarters through Q4 2017 had seen a two-thirds stake increase at prices between $12.25 and $23. Since then, the activity has been minor. The stock currently trades at $13.40.

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA ADR (BUD), ASML Holdings (ASML), Exxon Mobil (XOM), HDFC Bank (HDB), Itau Unibanco (ITUB), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Merck Inc. (MRK), Netflix (NFLX), Novo-Nordisk A.S. ADR (NVO), Oracle Corporation (ORCL), PayPal Holdings (PYPL), and Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR): These small (less than ~1% of the portfolio each) positions were reduced during the quarter.

The portfolio has several positions in different ETNs and ETFs - they account for around 15% of the 13F portfolio. Fisher also had large stakes in the following businesses per the latest 13G filings: Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS), Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW), Veeco Instruments (VECO), and Stamps.com (STMP).

Below are positions sized in the 0.1% to 0.5% range in the portfolio: ABB Ltd. (ABB), ASE Technology (ASX), America Movil (AMX), Aspen Technology (AZPN), BASF SE ADR (OTCQX:BASFY), BP plc (BP), Baidu Inc. (BIDU), Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBVA), Banco Bradesco (BBD), Banco Santander SA (SAN), CSX Corp. (CSX), Capital One Financial (COF), Chemed Corp. (CHE), Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF), Compagnie Financiere Richemont (OTCPK:CFRUY), ConocoPhillips (COP), Credit Agricole SA (OTCPK:CRARY), Domino’s Pizza (DPZ), Fanuc Corp. (OTCPK:FANUF), Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), General Electric (GE), Heico Corp. (HEI), Hess Corp (HES), Hill-Rom Holdings (HRC), Hitachi Ltd. (OTCPK:HTHIY), Infosys (INFY), Intesa Sanpaolo Spa ADR (OTCPK:ISNPY), JD.com (JD), Mastercard Inc. (MA), Mitsubishi Electric (OTC:MELY), Murata Manufacturing (OTCPK:MRAAY), Nestle (OTCPK:NSRGY), NetEase Inc. (NTES), Nvidia Corp (NVDA), Qorvo (QRVO), Raymond James Financial (RJF), SMC Corp Japan (OTCPK:SMCAY), SVB Financial (SIVB), Schneider Electric (OTCPK:SBGSY), Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG), Societe Generale France (OTCPK:SCGLY), Southern Copper (SCCO), Stamps.com, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial (SMFG), Synaptics Inc. (SYNA), Teledyne (TDY), Tokyo Electronics (OTCPK:TOELY), The Toro Co. (TTC), Trip.com (TCOM), Union Pacific (UNP), Vale (VALE), Vinci SA (OTCPK:VCISY), Weibo Corp. (WB), West Pharmaceutical (WST), Credicorp Ltd. (BAP), Helen of Troy (HELE), NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), and Steris plc (STE).

The spreadsheet below highlights changes to Fisher’s 13F stock holdings (only positions that are over 0.5% of the 13F portfolio each are individually listed) in Q4 2019:

Kenneth Fisher - Fisher Asset Management

Disclosure: I am/we are long AMZN, BP, GE, GSK, SFTBY. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.