A major state agency recently made big changes in its largest investments.
Alaska’s Department of Revenue, which collects and invests public funds, dramatically raised its stake in
(ticker: TSLA) stock, and reduced investments in
(QCOM) shares in the fourth quarter. The agency disclosed the stock trades, among others, in a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Department of Revenue, which managed $8.8 billion of U.S.-traded assets as of Dec. 31, didn’t respond to a request for comment on the transactions.
The agency bought 124,654 Tesla shares in the fourth quarter to lift its investment to 126,754 shares of the electric-vehicle giant.
Tesla stock had a boffo 2020, surging nearly nine times in price. The new year has seen the trajectory continue for the maker of electric vehicles, with its stock up 17.1% in the first two trading weeks of 2021. In comparison, the
S&P 500 index,
a broad measure of the market, rose 16.3% in 2020, and has eked out a 0.3% gain so far this year.
Tesla got a big boost when it recently was added to the S&P 500, and the stock’s upward movement made CEO Elon Musk the world’s richest person. Some are speculating that Tesla’s market value could soon top $1 trillion.
The agency sold 165,058 Gilead shares in the fourth quarter to lower its investment to 584,049 shares of the biotech.
Gilead stock slid 10.3% in 2020, but it has gained 8.7% so far in January.
We’ve noted that one analyst thinks Gilead is set for two more years of revenue decline. The company will see a revenue boost from its celebrated Covid-19 antiviral remdesivir, but Citigroup analyst Mohit Bansal wrote in October that those sales could taper off in the second half of 2021. In January, Gilead raised guidance because remdesivir sales topped expectations.
Intel stock slid 16.8% in 2020, but it has risen 15.6% so far this year.
The chip giant announced last week it was replacing CEO Bob Swan, a move applauded by investors. Intel under Swan has been viewed as having fallen behind rivals. Barron’s reported in November that Intel stock could rise again. In December, activist investor Dan Loeb disclosed that he had taken a stake in Intel, and wanted the company to explore making changes.
The state agency sold 219,744 Intel shares in the fourth quarter to end the year with 1.0 million shares.
Alaska’s Department of Revenue sold 53,288 shares of Qualcomm to end 2020 with 667,575 shares of the maker of chips for mobile devices.
Qualcomm stock rocketed 72.7% in 2020, and so far in 2021 it has risen 3.1%.
Qualcomm earlier this month announced President Cristiano Amon will succeed Steve Mollenkopf as CEO, effective June 30. Last May, Amon told Barron’sin an interview that “Digital transformation and Internet of Things plans are being accelerated” by 5G wireless technology. In late December, one analyst noted that Qualcomm stock was among his favorites in that sector.
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