Twitter Stock- Bill Gates’ Trust Exited Apple and Twitter Stock. Here’s What It Bought.
The trust of the
& Melinda Gates Foundation made major investment changes in the first quarter, before the Gates announced they’re divorcing.
The foundation trust, one of the largest in the world, sold all its investments in
(ticker: AAPL) and
(TWTR), and initiated a position in
(CPNG), an e-commerce company based in Seoul. The Gates’ trust disclosed the stock trades, among others, in a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The trust declined to comment on the stock trades.
The Gates’ trust owned 1 million Apple shares at the end of 2020, but by March 31, it had sold them.
Apple stock has been underperforming the market. Shares slid 8% in the first quarter, and so far in the second quarter, they are up 2.7%. In comparison, the
S&P 500 index
rose 5.8% in the first quarter, and has added 4.6% so far in the second.
Despite the recent performance, Apple stock is a favorite on Wall Street, and in fact the shares are a component of the Barron’s Future Focus Stock Index. CEO Tim Cook, at the top job for almost a decade, took to the stand to testify in a case that pits Apple against the publisher of the game Fortnite.
The Gates’ trust sold 272,420 Twitter shares in the first quarter to end its investment in the social-media company.
Twitter stock rose 17.5% in the first quarter, and so far in the second, it is down 14.4%.
Bill and Melinda Gates announced their plans to divorce on Twitter in early May, before their trust disclosed the first-quarter exit from the company’s shares. Twitter stock slid in late April in the wake of the company’s first-quarter report; investors were disappointed with the outlook and user growth. Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management bought Twitter stock the same quarter the Gates’ trust exited.
The trust bought 5.7 million Coupang shares in the first quarter. The company only went public in March. Shares are down 23.0% since March 31, but they are still up 8.6% from the $35 Coupang stock was priced at for the initial public offering.
Coupang announced an early expiration to the so-called lockup period, allowing employees to sell stock. Shares slipped after a lukewarm analyst assessment in April. Nonetheless Coupang stock has rewarded early investor SoftBank.
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.