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Is Alphabet (GOOG) Still A Great Investment Pick?

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Wedgewood Partners, an investment management firm, published its third-quarter 2021 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. A quarterly portfolio net return of +2.75% was recorded by the fund for the third quarter of 2021, outperforming the S&P 500 Index that delivered a +0.58% return for the same period, and the +1.16% gain of the Russell 1000 Growth Index. You can take a look at the fund’s top 5 holdings to have an idea about their best picks for 2021.

Wedgewood Partners, in its Q3 2021 investor letter, mentioned Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and discussed its stance on the firm. Alphabet Inc. is a Mountain View, California-based multinational technology conglomerate holding company with a $1.8 trillion market capitalization. GOOG delivered a 61.41% return since the beginning of the year, while its 12-month returns are up by 79.84%. The stock closed at $2,828.24 per share on October 14, 2021.

Here is what Wedgewood Partners has to say about Alphabet Inc. in its Q3 2021 investor letter:

"Alphabet’s core Google search business accelerated to multiyear highs, up nearly +70% driven in part by advertisers rushing to the Company’s Android platform. We estimate Android runs on nearly three-quarters of all smartphones; however, its share of ad spend is lower. Recent policy changes to Apple’s iOS operating system have made it more difficult for advertisers to get a return on its ad spend across the Apple ecosystem. These changes should help close the gap between Android and iOS advertising share and sustain Alphabet’s torrid growth."

Alphabet
Alphabet

Pixabay/Public Domain

Based on our calculations, Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) ranks 7th in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. GOOG was in 155 hedge fund portfolios at the end of the first half of 2021, compared to 159 funds in the previous quarter. Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) delivered a 7.20% return in the past 3 months.

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 115 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, we like undervalued, EBITDA-positive growth stocks, so we are checking out stock pitches like this biotech stock. We go through lists like the 10 best EV stocks to pick the next Tesla that will deliver a 10x return. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our homepage.

Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.