Funds led by Tiger Global Management LLC warmed up to Facebook Inc. (FB:US)’s growth prospects in the third quarter, adding to portfolios more than 15 million shares in the operator of the world’s largest social network.
Tiger Global, the $8 billion hedge fund, added 9.79 million shares to boost its stake to 11.75 million shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Jennison Associates LLC increased its holding by a third, adding 3.01 million shares, and Clearbridge Advisors LLC added 2.54 million shares, an increase of more than 400 percent.
The purchases (FB:US) came as Facebook, which has lost more than 40 percent of its value since going public in May, has been working to assuage investor concerns over its valuation. The company demonstrated in the third quarter that it can boost advertising revenue from mobile users as people increasingly turn to wireless devices to access the social network.
Other funds, including large holders, boosted their stake in Facebook as well. Vanguard Group Inc. added 4.3 million shares, an increase of 45 percent, while T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. added 740,309 shares, a 3.8 percent rise. Capital Research Global Investors more than doubled its stake by adding 14.6 million shares.
Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, fell less than 1 percent to $22.17 at the close in New York. Yesterday, the shares rose 13 percent, the second-largest gain since the IPO.
The rise came even as restrictions lifted yesterday on 804 million shares held by former employees and those who sold at the initial public offering, almost doubling the total publicly available, according to a regulatory filing.
During the third quarter, Facebook’s sales rose 32 percent to $1.26 billion, helped by new mobile-advertising tools that delivered about $150 million in revenue (FB:US).
Some institutional investors backed out of the stock or gave up completely on Facebook during the quarter.
Marsico Capital Management LLC sold all of its 5.85 million shares during the quarter, making it one of the biggest holders to liquidate all its holdings. Winslow Capital Management Inc. unloaded nearly as many, 4.59 million shares.
Hoplite Capital Management LLC reduced its holdings by 284,000 to 1 million shares.
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