In this article, we discuss the 10 companies to consider in the portfolio of Oprah Winfrey. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of these stocks, go directly to Oprah Winfrey Stock Portfolio: 5 Companies To Consider.
Oprah Winfrey is among a rare breed of billionaires in the United States that have made their fortune from a full-time career in the media industry. Although Oprah has expanded the scope of her work away from the eyes of the camera in recent years, she remains indebted to the world of broadcast television for turning her into a highly successful global brand. The present net worth of the talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist is over $2.6 billion, just $300 million shy of a feature on Forbes 400, a list of 400 richest Americans.
Over the years, Oprah has invested in highly successful businesses but limited her activities to specific market areas like media, food, and education. This has proved to be a highly successful strategy and is a lesson for young investors - having expertise in an area is a necessary prerequisite to a lucrative return. Through her career, she has partnered with several firms, including Discovery, Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), among others discussed in detail below.
Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson
Here is our list of the 10 stocks to consider based the portfolio of Oprah Winfrey.
It is important to clarify that not all the companies listed below are direct investments of the TV star. They were also picked from the historical portfolio and commercial partnerships of Oprah Winfrey over the years.
We analyzed the past and current investments and partnerships of Winfrey and picked some stocks that are aligned with her investment philosophy and interests.
The hedge fund sentiment around each stock was gauged using the data of 873 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey.
Why pay attention to hedge fund holdings? Insider Monkey’s research was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 86 percentage points since March 2017. Between March 2017 and July 2021 our monthly newsletter’s stock picks returned 186.1%, vs. 100.1% for the SPY. Our stock picks outperformed the market by more than 86 percentage points (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to. You can subscribe to our free newsletter on our homepage to receive our stories in your inbox.
Oprah Winfrey Stock Portfolio: Companies To Consider
10. United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE:UNFI)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 15
United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE:UNFI) features on our list of companies to consider based on the portfolio of Oprah Winfrey since the specialty business of the firm resembles the trailblazing efforts of Apeel Sciences, a California-based firm that uses plant-derived technology to enhance the lifespan of edible products, in the food industry. Apeel Sciences has so far raised $640 million over nine rounds. The company is valued at over $2 billion.
United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE:UNFI) also sells fresh produce and specialty foods. In 2020, Oprah contributed to a $250 million funding round for Apeel Sciences that also featured interest from pop star Katy Perry.
At the end of the second quarter of 2021, 15 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $83 million in United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE:UNFI), down from 23 in the preceding quarter worth $103 million.
Just like Discovery, Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE:UNFI) is one of the stocks attracting the attention of elite investors.
9. Oatly Group AB (NASDAQ:OTLY)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 19
Oatly Group AB (NASDAQ:OTLY) is Swedish company that makes and sells plant-based dairy products. The company went public in May 2021, raising $1.4 billion at the IPO and fetching a valuation of around $10 billion at the end of the first day of trading. Last year, Oprah was part of a $200 million funding round for the company that also included contributions from hip hop star Jay-Z and famous actress Natalie Portman.
On October 8, JPMorgan analyst Ken Goldman upgraded Oatly Group AB (NASDAQ:OTLY) stock to Overweight from Neutral with a price target of $21, noting that oat products had the potential to take market share from almond-based alternatives.
At the end of the second quarter of 2021, 19 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $302 million in Oatly Group AB (NASDAQ:OTLY).
In addition to Discovery, Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Oatly Group AB (NASDAQ:OTLY) is one of the stocks that hedge funds are buying.
8. WW International, Inc. (NASDAQ:WW)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 27
WW International, Inc. (NASDAQ:WW) is one of the premier investments of Oprah Winfrey. She first invested in the company in October 2015, spending $43 million to acquire a 10% stake in the company. The firm, based in New York, makes and sells weight management products and services. In 2019, Oprah extended a partnership deal with the company till 2025. At the time the deal was renewed, the stock had rallied 450% since Oprah bought a stake in the firm. That would indicate that her initial investment in the firm has paid off handsomely.
On October 4, Citi analyst Wendy Nicholson maintained a Buy rating on WW International, Inc. (NASDAQ:WW) stock with a price target of $32, noting that the company was well-positioned for a strong fiscal showing in 2022.
At the end of the second quarter of 2021, 27 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $602 million in WW International, Inc. (NASDAQ:WW), down from 28 in the previous quarter worth $466 million.
Along with Discovery, Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), WW International, Inc. (NASDAQ:WW) is one of the stocks on the radar of institutional investors.
7. The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 33
The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC) also features on our list of companies to consider based on the portfolio of Oprah Winfrey since the popular host has had a long-standing partnership with the firm stretching all the way back to 2017. Oprah teamed up with the food company to introduce a new line of healthy and nutritious products called the Oprah Winfrey line that included special soups, dishes, and other products.
Since the initial collaboration, The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC) and Oprah have come together to improve the Oprah Winfrey product line at KHC, sell refrigerated meats, and launch a new brand of “healthy” pizzas.
Among the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, Nebraska-based investment firm Berkshire Hathaway is a leading shareholder in The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC) with 325 million shares worth more than $13 billion.
Discovery, Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) are some of the top stocks to buy right now, along with The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC).
“We exclude our Kraft Heinz holding — 325,442,152 shares — (In the list of 15 common stock investments that at yearend were our largest in market value) because Berkshire is part of a control group and therefore must account for that investment using the “equity” method. On its balance sheet, Berkshire carries the Kraft Heinz holding at a GAAP figure of $13.3 billion, an amount that represents Berkshire’s share of the audited net worth of Kraft Heinz on December 31, 2020.
Berkshire and its subsidiaries hold investments in certain businesses that are accounted for pursuant to the equity method. Currently, the most significant of these is our investment in the common stock of The Kraft Heinz Company (“Kraft Heinz”). Kraft Heinz is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and marketers of food and beverage products, including condiments and sauces, cheese and dairy, meals, meats, refreshment beverages, coffee and other grocery products. Berkshire currently owns 325,442,152 shares of Kraft Heinz common stock representing 26.6% of the outstanding shares.
We recorded equity method earnings from our investment in Kraft Heinz of $95 million in 2020, $493 million in 2019 and losses of approximately $2.7 billion in 2018. Equity method earnings (losses) included the effects of goodwill and identifiable intangible asset impairment charges recorded by Kraft Heinz. Our share of such charges was approximately $850 million in 2020, $450 million in 2019 and $3.7 billion in 2018. We received dividends from Kraft Heinz of $521 million in each of 2020 and 2019 and $814 million in 2018, which we recorded as reductions in our carrying value.
Shares of Kraft Heinz common stock are publicly-traded and the fair value of our investment was approximately $11.3 billion at December 31, 2020 and $10.5 billion at December 31, 2019. The carrying value of our investment was approximately $13.3 billion at December 31, 2020 and $13.8 billion at December 31, 2019. As of December 31, 2020, the carrying value of our investment exceeded the fair value based on the quoted market price by $2.0 billion (15% of carrying value). In light of this fact, we evaluated our investment in Kraft Heinz for impairment. We utilize no bright-line tests in such evaluations. Based on the available facts and information regarding the operating results of Kraft Heinz, our ability and intent to hold the investment until recovery, the relative amount of the decline and the length of time that fair value was less than carrying value, we concluded that recognition of an impairment loss in earnings was not required. However, we will continue to monitor this investment and it is possible that an impairment loss will be recorded in earnings in a future period based on changes in facts and circumstances or intentions.”
6. General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 37
General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) makes and sells branded consumer foods. The firm is among the list of firms to consider based on the portfolio of Oprah Winfrey since the food business of the firm resembles the interest Oprah has shown in True Food Kitchen, a restaurant that serves healthy foods. In 2018, Oprah had disclosed that she had made an investment in the company. The restaurant firm later announced that Oprah would be joining the Board of Directors of the firm as a consultant.
Just like True Food Kitchen, General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) has introduced organic and natural products in the food marketplace in North America, pledging that going forward, one out of every ten products made by the firm will be organic-certified.
Among the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, New York-based firm Renaissance Technologies is a leading shareholder in General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) with 3.7 million shares worth more than $226 million.
Discovery, Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) are some of the elite stocks to buy right now, in addition to General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS).
“In the 1970s, blackout rules prevented televising NFL home games that weren’t sold out. It was always uncertain whether or not the Minnesota Vikings’ games would be televised. I remember how excited I’d be each week hearing that General Mills had purchased the remaining tickets, allowing the game to be on TV. Some said General Mills did this for its stakeholders—its employees and community—as opposed to maximizing profits for its shareholders. I believe stakeholders and shareholders both benefitted.
Consider the long-term benefits of General Mills being the hero that let us watch those games. It made employees proud of their employer and maybe helped with talent acquisition. The thousands of disadvantaged kids who got to attend NFL games were perhaps more likely to become General Mills customers or employees. And across the state, maybe we were all more likely to buy Betty Crocker cake mix instead of Duncan Hines. While the tickets were purchased in the name of being a good corporate citizen, I believe it was the most effective marketing ever done by General Mills and clearly benefitted the company’s shareholders.
Would Friedman argue against this spending because it reduced profits? Absolutely not. His writing from more than 40 years ago sounds eerily timely: “In the present climate of opinion, with its widespread aversion to ‘capitalism,’ ‘profits,’ the ‘soulless corporation’ and so on, this is one way for a corporation to generate goodwill as a by-product of expenditures that are entirely justified in its own self-interest.”
General Mills accepted lower short-term profits in its pursuit of higher long-term value. And the stakeholders also benefitted. In The Heart of Capitalism, Joly states that “shareholder or stakeholder” tradeoffs are artificial because an “and” solution often exists. “We maximize performance not by choosing between stakeholders, but by embracing all of them. We choose employees and customers and shareholders and the community.” Joly cites examples from his time at Best Buy, including reducing its carbon footprint by installing LED lights throughout the stores. “This helps the environment and helped us save money on our energy consumption. Again, not a zero-sum game.”
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Disclosure. None. Oprah Winfrey Stock Portfolio: 10 Companies To Consider is originally published on Insider Monkey.