Largest U.S. Pension Bought Up Intel, Nvidia Stock


The largest public pension in America by assets loaded up on its chip investments, and made a major adjustment in its stakes in media companies.

California Public Employees’ Retirement System doubled down on

Intel

stock, materially raised an investment in

Nvidia
,

bought more shares of

Walt Disney
,

and trimmed a position in

Netflix

in the fourth quarter. Calpers, as the pension is known, disclosed the stock trades, among others, in a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In response to a request for comment on the investment changes, the pension said in an email, “Calpers is an index investor and unfortunately we don’t comment on our individual holdings.” Calpers manages more than $480 billion in assets, and is also one of the largest private-equity investors in the world.

Calpers bought 8.1 million more shares of Intel in the fourth quarter to end the year with 16.1 million shares. Intel stock surged 90% in 2023, compared with a 24% rise in the


S&P 500 index.

So far this year, shares have slumped 14% while the index has logged a 4.7% rise.

Intel stock tumbled in late January after the company issued disappointing guidance that overshadowed a strong fourth-quarter report. CEO Pat Gelsinger bought the stock dip. In early February, Intel delayed the production timeline for its $20 billion Ohio two-chip factory project, citing difficult market conditions, and a slow distribution of U.S. government incentives. On another front, Intel recently named a new head of artificial intelligence to take on Nvidia.

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Nvidia stock rocketed 238% in 2023, and so far in 2024 shares are up 46%.

Unabated investor enthusiasm for artificial intelligence has lifted Nvidia shares, and its CEO Jensen Huang has said 2024 is going to be a “huge year” for the technology. Nvidia’s customers may be even more enthusiastic about its chips than its investors are about the stock.

Meta Platforms

plans to own billions of dollars of Nvidia chips by the end of the year, and

Tesla

will spend more than $500 million for Nvidia hardware in 2024.

Calpers bought 1.8 million more Nvidia shares to end the fourth quarter with 7.5 million shares.

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The pension bought 1.7 million more shares of Disney in the fourth quarter to lift its investment to 6.6 million shares.

Disney reported strong earnings, provided an upbeat outlook, and lifted its dividend earlier this month, sending shares soaring. Disney, Fox, and

Warner Bros. Discovery

announced they will jointly create a platform to stream sporting events. Bob Iger is a year into his second stint as Disney CEO, and Barron’s has written that the path forward for the company is tougher than it was in his first.

Disney stock eked out a 3.9% gain in 2023. So far in 2024, the shares are up 20%.

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Netflix, which competes with Disney in streaming, saw shares soar 65% in 2023. So far this year, the shares are up 15%.

Netflix reported strong subscriber growth in the fourth quarter, beating its own forecast. Monthly active users on the company’s ad-based plan are also surging. BofA Securities has already declared Netflix as the winner of the streaming wars, but a recent deal for WWE wrestling shows indicates the company is still pushing ahead.

Calpers sold 28,464 Netflix shares to trim its holding to 785,855 shares as of the end of 2023.

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 edward.lin@barrons.com and follow @BarronsEdLin.





Read More:Largest U.S. Pension Bought Up Intel, Nvidia Stock

2024-02-11 13:00:00

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