A large U.S. pension recently made big changes in its investment portfolio.
State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio materially lifted investments in
Alibaba Group Holding
Systems (CSCO) stock, and halved an investment in
(CRM). STRS Ohio, as the pension is known, disclosed the trades in a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
STRS Ohio, which managed $79.8 billion in assets as of June 30, 2020, didn’t respond to a request for comment on the investment changes.
The pension bought 136,700 more Alibaba American depositary receipts in the fourth quarter to end 2020 with 342,134 ADRs fo the Chinese internet giant.
Alibaba ADRs rose 9.7% in 2020, and so far in 2021, through Friday’s close, they have gained 14.2%. In comparison, the
S&P 500 index
gained 16.3% last year, and this year has risen 3.5%.
Alibaba ADRs tumbled in December when an affiliate was forced by Chinese regulators to scuttle an initial public offering. Alibaba founder Jack Ma also has kept a low profile aftercriticizing the state-owned bank system last fall.
STRS Ohio bought 248,974 additional shares of Lilly to end the year with 646,026 shares of the pharmaceutical giant.
LIlly stock rose 28.5% last year, and so far in 2021, it is up 19.5%.
Lilly reported a strong fourth quarter—boosted by government stockpiling of the company’s antibody treatment for Covid-19—at the end of January. Upbeat data on its experimental Alzheimer’s treatment has also bolstered Lilly stock. One observer thinks shares are still a buy, even with the recent appreciation.
Cisco stock slipped 6.7% in 2020, but so far in 2021 it has gained 7.4%.
Some on Wall Street think that networking giant Cisco will benefit from improved IT spending. Anyone pursuing the Dogs of the Dow strategy is aware that the high-yielding shares are in the doghouse. Cisco stock could rebound from 2020’s drop as growth resumes.
STRS Ohio bought 350,742 additional Cisco shares in the fourth quarter to raise its investment to 2.6 million shares.
The pension sold 363,451 Salesforce shares to end the quarter with 331,122 shares of the software firm.
Salesforce stock leaped 36.8% in 2020, and is up another 7.4% so far this year.
Some on Wall Street remain bullish on Salesforce stock, while others aren’t. Investors may feel that Salesforce is paying too much for
(WORK), which the company has agreed to acquire.
Inside Scoop is a regular Barron’s feature covering stock transactions by corporate executives and board members—so-called insiders—as well as large shareholders, politicians, and other prominent figures. Due to their insider status, these investors are required to disclose stock trades with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other regulatory groups.
Write to Ed Lin at email@example.com and follow @BarronsEdLin.