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A Look Back At ValueAct's Massive Microsoft Bet

Wayne Duggan

A little more than three years after ValueAct Capital CEO Jeffrey Ubben disclosed the fund’s massive $2 billion stake in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), the stock has nearly doubled in price.

The day before Ubben discussed the position at an investor conference in April of 2013, Microsoft’s stock closed at $29.77.

Last week, Microsoft reached as high as $58.14, a 95.2 percent gain.

The trade has been a winner from ValueAct since the beginning, and the stock has never dipped below $30 since the fund’s position was first reported. Microsoft’s 95 percent gain has dwarfed the 39.6 percent gain of the S&P 500 over the same period.

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After an initial surge to $47, Microsoft was range-bound between $47 and $38 from November 2014 to October 2015. The stock then broke out to a new trading range between $47 and $56. Microsoft stayed within that range from October 2015 until a breakout last month that carried it to $58.

Despite the huge gains, ValueAct isn’t quite satisfied with Microsoft just yet. The fund’s most recent 13F filing indicates that ValueAct added a modest 908 shares of Microsoft in Q2, upping its total stake to 56,624,678 shares. At today’s market price, that $3.2 billion stake represents more than 26 percent of ValueAct’s total holdings.

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