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Sohn Investment Conference: How the stock picks of 2019 performed

Global stocks exposed to the technology boom, whose performance was partially fuelled by the coronavirus crisis, were the big winners from the calls made by top investment minds at the Sohn Hearts & Minds Investment Conference last year.
Ben Wilmot
The Australian
 • 
Nov 12, 2020

Global stocks exposed to the technology boom, whose performance was partially fuelled by the coronavirus crisis, were the big winners from the calls made by top investment minds at the Sohn Hearts & Minds Investment Conference last year.

 

The wide dispersal of returns also indicated that active stock picking, a theme that is the bedrock of the event, remains alive and very well, particularly for investors that are invested in the NASDAQ.

 

The best pics were US car maker Tesla, which soared by 504 per cent, including reinvested dividends, followed by Trade Desk, which was up 242 per cent, and GDS Holdings at 121 per cent.

 

The performance of the Elon Musk vehicle maker, chosen by Ark Invest’s Catherine Wood, was the stand out by far although all of the long picks ended up in the black, in a surprisingly tough market for shorts.

 

Tesla’s rise has prompted caution from Wall Street investors worried about its lofty valuation despite the company producing record results, with third-quarter results showing $US8.7bn ($12bn) in sales.

 

Trade Desk, which provides software designed to help advertisers and agencies buy ads using automated tools and reams of data, is also on an upward trend, after dipping after a price spike this month.

 

Other interesting picks included MinRes, the mining services company that was the top locally listed stock with a 99 per cent return, followed by two New York listed stocks; specialty retailer Floor & Décor and music service Spotify which returned 79 per cent and 78 per cent respectively.

 

Another ASX-listed miner Nickel Mines trailed at 65 per cent and it was a big drop to the next best performer, US listed software company Smartsheet that turned in a respectable 39 per cent.

 

The global nature of the stock selections and their exposures continued with Tribeca Investment’s Jun Bei Liu, who picked the locally listed A2 Milk which returned 26 per cent and this was followed by Japanese stock Sanken Electric chosen by Seth Fischer of Oasis Capital Management and New York-listed tech conglomerate Fortive chosen by Cooper Investors’ Allan Goldstein.

 

The list was rounded out by resilient airline Wizz Air which was up 13 per cent the London listed stock chosen by Builders Union’s Markus Bihler.

 

The group of stocks did exceptionally well with an average return of 27 per cent, and although this lagged the NASDAQ that was up 39 per cent, it was ahead of the main US index, the S&P 500, that rose 16 per cent, partly on recent optimism about a coronavirus vaccine.

 

The short calls were less successful than the other as Montaka’s Andrew Macken called out London listed Sports Direct as a short position. It is yet to pay off as it lifted albeit by a miserly 2 per cent.

 

Regal Funds Management’s Phil King also identified another short position PolyNovo, but this backfired over the period as the stock returned 27 per cent.

 

 

This article was originally posted on The Australian here.

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