Billionaire investor George Soros sold shares of Facebook, Netflix, and Goldman Sachs just before those stocks took a nosedive in recent weeks – saving $17.7million.he Hungarian-born liberal philanthropist, who is also the founder and chairman of Soros Fund Management, sold all of his shares in Facebook in the third quarter.He also unloaded a number of shares in Netflix as well as Goldman Sachs Group, according to Barron’s. Both Facebook and Goldman have hit new lows so far this fourth quarter.The social network is down almost 20 per cent while Goldman, the investment banking giant, has lost nearly 15 per cent of its share price this quarter.
At the close of trading on Wall Street on Wednesday, Facebook was selling at $134.82, a 1.8 per cent improvement from the day before. On July 25, Facebook was selling at $217.50 a share. The next day, it fell 19 per cent, erasing $120billion worth of shareholder wealth. The stock has continued to fall ever since. Soros Fund Management, which handles the Soros family’s money, owned 159,200 shares of Facebook at the end of the second quarter. By the time the third quarter ended on October 1, SFM sold all of its shares in Facebook.
It is ironic (If not highly suspicious) that Soros managed to sell Facebook shares before they nosedived. Last week, The New York Times reported that the company tried to deflect blame over a massive user data breach by hiring a Republican opposition research firm. The firm then tried to tie Facebook critics to Soros, who has been a target among conservatives.
In taking an aggressive stance, Facebook also tried to paint critics of the company as anti-Semitic. The head of the Open Society Foundations, a nonprofit group founded by Soros, blasted Facebook for promoting ‘distortions’ about Soros. Now there is even a bigger public relations backlash against Facebook, whose top executives – CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg – had long insisted that the company was apologetic and eager to take responsibility for its mistakes.
SFM may have sold its shares of Facebook, but it is possible that Soros himself has a personal stake in the company. Netflix is another tech giant that is experiencing a massive sell-off. In the last five weeks, Netflix shares are down by more than 15 per cent. The streaming giant was selling at $262.13 a share – a 1.82 per cent depreciation from the day before.
This past summer, Netflix sold at a high of more than $418. SFM sold 106,400 shares of Netflix in the third quarter, reducing its stake by 89 per cent. By the end of September, SFM held 13,800 shares of Netflix. Goldman stock began to tumble earlier this month when the Justice Department announced charges against two former employees for their role in alleged embezzlement of a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.
SFM reduced its stake from 64,814 shares at the end of June to 28,206 shares by the end of September.