Billionaire Ken Griffin’s Portfolio: Top 10 Stock Picks

·10 min read

In this article, we discuss the top 10 stock picks of billionaire Ken Griffin. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of Griffin’s history, investment philosophy, and hedge fund performance, go directly to Billionaire Ken Griffin's Portfolio: Top 5 Stock Picks.

Ken Griffin is a billionaire American hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, and investor. He is recognized in the financial industry for founding Citadel Investment Group in 1990, and serves as the chief investment officer and chief executive officer at the multinational hedge fund.

After completing his Bachelor’s from Harvard University in 1989, Griffin started his financial career at Glenwood Capital Investments, where he was given $1 million for trading by the owner, Frank Meyer, and Griffin returned 70% from his strategic investing. A year later, Griffin ventured out on his own with Citadel Investment Group, and one of the biggest financial contributors for his hedge fund was Frank Meyer. Citadel Investment Group suffered significant losses during the 2008 financial crisis, which garnered a lot of criticism for Griffin and his investment strategies, but the fund recovered 62% of the losses by the next year.

The flagship fund at Citadel Investment Group, namely Wellington, returned 7.8% in September, which pushed its year-to-date performance to 18.5%. While the stock market suffered heavy losses in September, with the S&P 500 falling 4.8%, as well as the blue-chip Dow and the Nasdaq Composite dropping by 4.3% and 5.3% respectively, Griffin scored tremendous gains that made headlines.

Billionaire Ken Griffin's Portfolio: Top 5 Stock Picks
Billionaire Ken Griffin's Portfolio: Top 5 Stock Picks

Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group

Ken Griffin’s Q3 portfolio is valued at over $481 billion as of Q3 2021, and the investments are focused on the information technology, finance, healthcare, industrials, communications, and consumer discretionary sectors, with a top ten holdings concentration of 29.36%.

The most notable stocks from Ken Griffin’s Q3 portfolio include IHS Markit Ltd. (NYSE:INFO), Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL), S&P Global Inc. (NYSE:SPGI), and Datadog, Inc. (NASDAQ:DDOG), among others discussed in detail below.

Our Methodology

We used the Q3 portfolio of Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group to select his top 10 stock picks for the third quarter of 2021. The securities are ranked according to Griffin’s stake value in each holding.

For further context on the companies, we have mentioned Q3 earnings, analyst ratings, and the hedge fund sentiment around each stock.

Billionaire Ken Griffin's Portfolio: Top Stock Picks

10. Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL)

Citadel Investment Group’s Stake Value: $252,650,000

Percentage of Citadel Investment Group’s 13F Portfolio: 0.05%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 54

Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) is a multinational consumer products company headquartered in New York, offering personal hygiene and home care products. Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) posted its Q3 earnings on October 28. EPS for the quarter totaled $0.81, beating estimates by $0.01. The quarterly revenue came in at $4.41 billion, up 6.28% from the prior-year quarter, exceeding estimates by $15.45 million.

Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group holds a $252.65 million position in Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) as of Q3 2021, which accounts for 0.05% of the fund’s total investments.

Jean-Marie Eveillard’s First Eagle Investment Management is the leading stakeholder of Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) in the third quarter, with 11.65 million shares worth $880.8 million. Overall, 54 hedge funds in the Q3 database of Insider Monkey reported owning stakes in Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL), amounting to $2.57 billion.

Citing concerns about the mixed Q3 results, supply chain challenges, and rising inflation, Berenberg analyst Fulvio Cazzol on November 2 lowered the price target on Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) to $77 from $85 and kept a Hold rating on the shares.

Here is what First Eagle Investment Management has to say about Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) in their Q1 2021 investor letter:

“The leading detractors in the quarter (included) Colgate-Palmolive Company. After a strong 2020 fueled in part by lockdown-driven demand, consumer staples stocks generally cooled during the first quarter as investors shifted attention to the more economically sensitive areas of the market likely to benefit from re-openings and improved discretionary spending. The effects of this rotation could be seen in the share price underperformance of names like Colgate-Palmolive.”

9. IQVIA Holdings Inc. (NYSE:IQV)

Citadel Investment Group’s Stake Value: $273,877,000

Percentage of Citadel Investment Group’s 13F Portfolio: 0.05%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 66

IQVIA Holdings Inc. (NYSE:IQV), a leading company in the fields of health information technology, clinical research, and human data science technology, is one of the top stock picks of Ken Griffin from the third quarter. Griffin, via Citadel Investment Group, holds a $273.8 million stake in IQVIA Holdings Inc. (NYSE:IQV), which accounts for 0.05% of his Q3 investment portfolio.

A total of 66 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on IQVIA Holdings Inc. (NYSE:IQV) in the third quarter, with stakes amounting to $3.75 billion. This is comparable to 69 funds being long IQVIA Holdings Inc. (NYSE:IQV) in the preceding quarter, with total stakes worth $3.80 billion. Thomas Steyer’s Farallon Capital is the leading stakeholder of the company, holding a $647.65 million position.

IQVIA Holdings Inc. (NYSE:IQV), on October 21, posted its Q3 results. EPS in the third quarter came in at $2.17, exceeding estimates by $0.05. The revenue amounted to $3.39 billion, gaining 21.72% from the preceding-year quarter, outperforming estimates by $40.36 million.

Increasing the growth targets for revenue and EBITDA, Mizuho analyst Ann Hynes on November 18 raised the price target on IQVIA Holdings Inc. (NYSE:IQV) to $290 from $282 and kept a Buy rating on the shares.

In addition to IHS Markit Ltd. (NYSE:INFO), Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL), S&P Global Inc. (NYSE:SPGI), and Datadog, Inc. (NASDAQ:DDOG), IQVIA Holdings Inc. (NYSE:IQV) is a notable stock from Ken Griffin’s Q3 portfolio.

8. Datadog, Inc. (NASDAQ:DDOG)

Citadel Investment Group’s Stake Value: $278,442,000

Percentage of Citadel Investment Group’s 13F Portfolio: 0.05%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 62

Billionaire Ken Griffin holds a $278.4 million position in Datadog, Inc. (NASDAQ:DDOG), which represents 0.05% of his total investments from the third quarter. Datadog, Inc. (NASDAQ:DDOG) is a tech company offering a cloud based data analytics platform that monitors databases and servers.

Datadog, Inc. (NASDAQ:DDOG) reported its Q3 earnings on November 4, posting an EPS of $0.13, beating estimates by $0.07. The $270.49 million revenue was up 74.88% year-over-year, outperforming estimates by $22.67 million.

On November 19, RBC Capital analyst Matthew Hedberg upgraded Datadog, Inc. (NASDAQ:DDOG) to Outperform from Sector Perform with a price target of $235, up from $191.

At the end of September, 62 hedge funds were bullish on Datadog, Inc. (NASDAQ:DDOG), up from 56 funds in the preceding quarter. The leading stakeholder of Datadog, Inc. (NASDAQ:DDOG) is Tiger Global Management, holding 5.24 million shares worth $740.7 million.

Here is what Artisan Global Discovery Fund has to say about Datadog, Inc. (NASDAQ:DDOG) in its Q3 2021 investor letter:

“In addition to trimming our position in Atlassian, we also pared our exposure to Datadog. Datadog is a leading provider of monitoring and analytics for cloud-based applications. Software has become central to how organizations deliver differentiated products and user experiences and optimize business processes—fueling the disruption taking place across nearly every industry. The success of this digital transformation trend is increasingly tied to quality and performance—in turn, driving strong secular demand for IT infrastructure and application monitoring. Datadog’s platform— which integrates and automates infrastructure monitoring, application performance monitoring and log management—provides real-time observability of its customers’ entire technology stacks and is built to address the scale, complexity and dynamic nature of the modern cloud era. Datadog’s solutions fill a void left by legacy tools built for on-premise IT infrastructures, and the company is well positioned to exploit an underpenetrated, large addressable market. The company has been firing on all cylinders recently, adding 1,000 or more new customers each quarter (~600 pre-pandemic) and growing its free cash flow margin by 800 basis points year-over-year in Q2. Additionally, the integration of nine different products into a single platform has enabled the company to successfully cross-sell products to existing customers. While we believe Datadog’s low-touch, land and-expand distribution model positions the company well to capitalize on the continued shift to the cloud, we trimmed our position as shares approached our estimate of private market value.”

7. Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF)

Citadel Investment Group’s Stake Value: $279,963,000

Percentage of Citadel Investment Group’s 13F Portfolio: 0.05%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 55

Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF), an American bank holding company offering auto loans, credit cards, and savings accounts among other banking services, is one of the top stock picks of Ken Griffin for the third quarter of 2021. Citadel Investment Group maintained a position worth approximately $280 million in Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF), which accounts for 0.05% of the total investments of the hedge fund.

Baird analyst David George upgraded Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF) to Neutral from Underperform with an unchanged price target of $145 on December 1.

On October 26, Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF) announced earnings for Q3, posting an EPS of $6.86, beating estimates by $1.66. The $7.83 billion quarterly revenue gained 6.08% year-over-year, exceeding estimates by almost $381 million.

At the end of the third quarter, 55 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey reported owning stakes in Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF), worth $4.70 billion. The leading Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF) stakeholder is Harris Associates, holding 5.84 million shares valued at $946.1 million in Q3 2021.

6. Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR)

Citadel Investment Group’s Stake Value: $302,753,000

Percentage of Citadel Investment Group’s 13F Portfolio: 0.06%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 74

Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) stock represents 0.06% of the total investments at Citadel Investment Group in the third quarter, with Ken Griffin holding a $302.75 million position in the company. Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) is a Washington-based conglomerate that is working on developing medical and industrial equipment, and manages three key business segments, namely Diagnostics, Life Sciences, and Environmental and Applied Solutions.

Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) announced earnings for Q3 2021 on October 21, posting an EPS of $2.39, beating estimates by $0.24. The $7.23 billion revenue exceeded estimates by $226.84 million and jumped 22.88% from the preceding-year quarter.

Baird analyst Catherine Schulte on October 22 raised the price target on Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) to $340 from $305 and kept an Outperform rating on the shares, citing normalized customer activity levels and a solid funding environment.

Fisher Asset Management is the largest Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) stakeholder as of the third quarter, holding 3.44 million shares worth over $1 billion. Overall, 74 hedge funds were long Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) in Q3, down from 78 funds in the prior quarter.

In addition to IHS Markit Ltd. (NYSE:INFO), Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL), S&P Global Inc. (NYSE:SPGI), and Datadog, Inc. (NASDAQ:DDOG), Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) is a notable stock from Ken Griffin’s Q3 portfolio.

Here is what ClearBridge Investments has to say about Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) in its Q2 2021 investor letter:

“Our differentiated positions in the health care sector also made strong contributions as the market began to reward the heavily discounted sector. Danaher, for example, is seeing customer activity approach pre-pandemic levels and is executing well. In addition to improving health through its life sciences (research tools for biopharmaceutical, food and beverage, medical, aerospace and microelectronics industries) and diagnostics (tools for use in labs and critical care settings) businesses, Danaher offers environmental and applied solutions that keep global food and water supplies safe.”

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Disclosure: None. Billionaire Ken Griffin's Portfolio: Top 10 Stock Picks is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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