Bridgewater Adds to Microsoft Stake

Chidem Kurdas

Do über quants see something in Windows that’s not obvious to ordinary folk? That’s Windows 8, the operating system Microsoft launched last October. Sales were disappointing, at least initially.

Bridgewater already owned Microsoft but bought more, doubling its position to 1.4 million shares, up from 688 thousand shares. Though the $40 million holding is a tiny fraction of the institutional manager’s $150-billion assets, it has had staying power. Bridgewater funds trade all kinds of instruments, often for short periods, but Microsoft is a mainstay in the equity portfolio.

Unenthusiastic reviews of Windows 8 pummeled the stock until recently. Bridgewater’s models probably indicated that it was undervalued; hence the doubling of shares.

In the past 30 days or so Microsoft has gained. Windows 8 is the company’s response to tablets’ displacement of PC sales—the system is designed for tablets and may be making some headway in that market. Also, Microsoft is expected to come up with a smaller tablet. The long-term question is whether it can reinvent itself as PCs continue to be displaced.

In the meantime the stock may still be undervalued by Bridgewater’s criteria, making it a buy opportunity.

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