eBay: The Sweetheart of the Fund Managers
eBay (EBAY) shareholders' proxy proposal votes will be announced later this week. But institutional investors have already been voting with their pocket books.
In the first quarter, more than 200 institutional investors -- mutual, index and pension funds -- either bought into eBay or increased their stakes in the online auctioneer, according to FactSet Research Systems' LionShares site. The net holdings in eBay of such investors increased in the first quarter by about 11.8 million shares, a stake that is now worth about $1.2 billion.
Much of the buying appears to have come from index funds that bought up eBay stock as it soared compared with the rest of the Nasdaq 100. But some also seems to have come from portfolio managers eager to pick up an Internet winner.
Forget about the company's sky-high valuation or its profligate use of
|Do I Hear $103?
Institutional investors that bought the most eBay shares in the first quarter
|Institutional Holder||Shares held, end Q1||Shares bought since Q4 '02||Percentage Stake in eBay||Portion bought in Q1|
|Marsico Capital Management LLC||4,487,342||4,487,342||1.4%||100.0%|
|TCW Asset Management Co.||8,156,898||3,559,292||2.6||43.6|
|Fidelity Management & Research Co.||8,883,653||3,243,811||2.8||36.5|
|Barclays Global Investors, N.A.||8,522,531||2,007,112||2.7||23.6|
|Northern Trust Global Investments||2,906,788||1,395,365||0.9||48.0|
|Morgan Stanley Investment Management (NY)||4,927,179||1,095,799||1.6||22.2|
|Merrill Lynch Asset Management, Inc.||1,428,768||903,717||0.5||63.3|
|ING Investments, Inc.||935,913||744,743||0.3||79.6|
|Jennison Associates LLC||840,200||742,700||0.3||88.4|
|ING Aeltus Investment Management, Inc.||861,046||710,041||0.3||82.5|
|Source: FactSet Research Systems' LionShares.|
Sticking With a WinnerBut other institutional investors could be reluctant to rock the boat. eBay's stock climbed nearly 26% in the first quarter alone and has jumped more than 50% year to date. Meanwhile, the company has continuously reported soaring revenue and record earnings, albeit not including the cost of stock options.
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