What Would Stanley Druckenmiller Do? 3 Stocks the Famed Investor Bought & Sold in Q4.

Stock Market

Stanley Druckenmiller is a former hedge fund manager and famed investor whose moves are carefully watched on Wall Street. From 1981 to 2010, he ran Duquesne Capital, a hedge fund that had more than $12 billion in assets at the time it was closed. Druckenmiller also managed money for George Soros as the lead portfolio manager for the famous Quantum Fund. Now largely retired with a net worth of $10 billion, Druckenmiller today runs the Duquesne Family Office, his own personal investment vehicle. However, while Stanley Druckenmiller is less high-profile than in the past, his trading in stocks is still closely followed. Many investors like to pour over his disclosures to regulators each quarter. What would Stanley Druckenmiller do? Her are three stocks the famed investor bought and sold in Q4 of last year.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW)

Palo Alto Networks (PANW) logo on corporate building

Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Druckenmiller might be regretting this purchase. On the day of this writing, shares of Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ:PANW) are down 27% after the cybersecurity firm lowered its full-year guidance for revenue and billings. The sharp decline has wiped out all of the stock’s year-to-date gains. Unfortunately, Druckenmiller opened a new position in Palo Alto Networks during the fourth quarter of last year, buying 64,715 shares of PANW stock worth $17.3 million based on the current share price.

Palo Alto Networks managed to beat Wall Street forecasts with its latest financial results. But the guidance was a big miss, sending the stock sharply lower. Specifically, the company said it now foresees full-year billings of $10.1 billion to $10.2 billion, down from previous guidance of $10.7 billion to $10.8 billion. Palo Alto Networks also expects full-year revenue between $7.95 billion and $8 billion, which is also lower than previously. Will Druckenmiller buy more PANW stock as it falls? Possibly. But right now, this looks like a poorly timed bet.

Barrick Gold (GOLD)

A photo of a gold nugget on a table, being picked up by tweezers, with more gold behind it.

Source: aerogondo2 / Shutterstock.com

Druckenmiller also opened a new positioned in embattled gold miner Barrick Gold (NYSE:GOLD) during the final quarter of last year. Interestingly, Stanley Druckenmiller bought the stocks as the price of gold hit an all-time high of $2,135.39 an ounce last December. However, this bet also hasn’t turned out great so far. Year-to-date, Barrick Gold’s stock has fallen 19%. The miner’s share price has been cut in half since it reached an all-time high back in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As for the price of gold, it has been treading water right around $2,000 per ounce lately. Some analysts expect gold’s price to rise significantly once the U.S. Federal Reserve begins lowering interest rates. If that’s the case, then Druckenmiller’s investment in GOLD stock could pay off nicely. But he might have to wait a while for rates to move lower. In the meantime, Barrick Gold did recently announce a new $1 billion stock buyback program after reporting mixed Q4 2023 financial results.

Amazon (AMZN)

Closeup of the Amazon logo at Amazon campus in Palo Alto, California. The Palo Alto location hosts A9 Search, Amazon Web Services, and Amazon Game Studios teams. AMZN stock

Source: Tada Images / Shutterstock.com

One of the stocks that Druckenmiller sold at the end of 2023 was e-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). This trade too looks a bit ill-timed. Especially, given the spate of positive news related to the company. First, Amazon reported blowout earnings that sent its stock up sharply in early February. Then, it was just announced that Amazon is replacing pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) in the Dow Jones Industrial Average starting on Feb. 26.

The addition to the Dow Jones Industrial Average is positive for Amazon as it requires mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that track the index to buy up the company’s stock. Also, while Druckenmiller dumped his position in AMZN stock, investment bank Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) reports that Amazon is the only mega-cap tech stock that hedge funds continue to add to their portfolios. So far in 2024, AMZN stock is up 12%, bringing its 12-month increase to 78%.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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