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Hedge funds Third Point, Sachem Head see Alibaba differently -filings

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By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON, May 14 (Reuters) - Hedge funds Third Point LLC and Sachem Head Capital Management, which often push for changes at corporate targets, traded in some of the same companies early this year but reached different conclusions on whether to hold or sell, regulatory filings show.

Sachem Head, run by Scott Ferguson, listed communications company Alibaba Group Holding as a new holding during the first quarter of 2021, according to a filing. The New York-based hedge fund bought 605,000 shares, making it one of its biggest stock holdings on March 31, 2021.

At Daniel Loeb's Third Point, portfolio managers liquidated the firm's position in Alibaba, selling 1.4 million shares. New York-based Third Point had owned Alibaba since the second quarter of 2020.

Both firms late on Friday released their 13-F filings which show what money managers held at the end of the first quarter. While the filings are backward-looking, they are closely watched for hints on potential trends and insight into what specific stocks managers liked or soured on.

Sachem Head loaded up on International Flavors and Fragrances, buying 6.5 million shares in the company and quickly asking for board seats. Ferguson then settled with the company, giving him the option to join IFF's board later this year.

At the same time, the filing showed that he liquidated his position in DuPont where he had held 2.6 million shares since the fourth quarter of 2020. Earlier this year IFF merged with DuPont's Nutrition & Biosciences business.

At Third Point, DuPont was listed as a new position, with the firm owning 2.7 million shares.

Third Point, which earlier this year helped install a new chief executive at Intel Corp, also bought a new stake in ride hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. But it cut its position in Amazon.com Inc by 21%, a holding it had added to the portfolio during the middle of the pandemic in 2020. It cut its investment in Alphabet Inc's Google by 19% but raised its holding in Microsoft Corp by 23%.

Sachem Head cut its holding in Synchrony Financial by 37% and added a new stake in software platform Porch Group , which helps match homeowners with everything from moving companies to utility companies.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss in Boston Editing by Matthew Lewis)