NEW YORK (Stockpickr) -- At Stockpickr, we track the top holdings of a variety of high-profile investors, such as Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn.

One of our most popular professional portfolios is that of Jim Simons' Renaissance Technologies. Keeping in mind that the fund conducts thousands of transactions each quarter -- in the most recently reported quarter ended March 31, it increased its position in 2,253 stocks and decreased its position in 1,243 -- we're taking a look at several stocks that are brand new to the fund.

Only three of these stocks are among the top 30 stocks that Stockpickr tracks, but they represent the 10 largest new holdings for the fund at current prices -- which is saying something, since there are 626 total new positions for the quarter. They are ordered here by position size.

10. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Renaissance Technologies initiated a new 167,488-share position in Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN - Get Report) in the most recently reported quarter. With a position of that size, the stock would have a current market value of $92.5 million and comprise 0.2% of Renaissance Technologies' portfolio.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as a buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) a buy. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 22.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 39.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • REGN's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.16 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.88, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 79.39% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has improved earnings per share by 8.2% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals reported lower earnings of $3.09 versus $3.80 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($11.30 versus $3.09).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Biotechnology industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 11.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $68.31 million to $76.02 million.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: REGN Ratings Report

9. Pfizer


 

Renaissance Technologies initiated a new 2.6 million-share position in Pfizer (PFE - Get Report) in the most recently reported quarter. With a position of that size, the stock would have a current market value of $92.7 million and comprise 0.2% of Renaissance Technologies' portfolio..

 

TheStreet Ratings team rates Pfizer as a buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate Pfizer (PFE) a buy. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team include:

 

  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.53, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. To add to this, PFE has a quick ratio of 1.81, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The gross profit margin for Pfizer is currently very high, coming in at 86.14%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 21.87% is above that of the industry average.
  • Pfizer has improved earnings per share by 8.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PFIZER INC reported lower earnings of $1.42 versus $1.65 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.04 versus $1.42).

 

You can view the full analysis from the report here: PFE Ratings Report



8. Twitter


Renaissance Technologies initiated a new 2.6 million-share position in Twitter (TWTR - Get Report) in the most recently reported quarter. With a position of that size, the stock would have a current market value of $95.9 million and comprise 0.2% of Renaissance Technologies' portfolio.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Twitter as a sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate Twitter (TWTR) a sell. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team include:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Internet Software & Services industry average. The net income has decreased by 22.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$132.36 million to -$162.44 million.
  • In its most recent trading session, Twitter has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • Twitter's earnings per share declined by 8.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, Twitter continued to lose money by earning -$0.96 versus -$1.05 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.34 versus -$0.96).
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 10.08 is very high and demonstrates very strong liquidity.
  • Compared to other companies in the Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, Twitter's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: TWTR Ratings Report


7. VF Corp.


Renaissance Technologies initiated a new 1.5 million-share position in VF Corp. (VFC - Get Report) in the most recently reported quarter. With a position of that size, the stock would have a current market value of $116.6 million and comprise 0.3% of Renaissance Technologies' portfolio..

TheStreet Ratings team rates VF Corp. as a buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate VF Corp. (VFC) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team include:

  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • VF Corp. has improved earnings per share by 11.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VF Corp. reported lower earnings of $2.39 versus $2.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.21 versus $2.39).
  • The gross profit margin for VF CORP is rather high; currently it is at 50.79%. Regardless of VFC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 6.79% trails the industry average.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.76 is weak.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: VFC Ratings Report


6. Wal-Mart


Renaissance Technologies initiated a new 1.6 million-share position in Wal-Mart (WMT - Get Report) in the most recently reported quarter. With a position of that size, the stock would have a current market value of $117.3 million and comprise 0.3% of Renaissance Technologies' portfolio.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Wal-Mart Stores as a buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) a buy. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team include:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.66, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.19 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 3.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.1%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Food & Staples Retailing industry and the overall market, Wal-Mart Stores' return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Wal-Mart Stores' earnings per share declined by 6.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, Wal-Mart Stores increased its bottom line by earning $4.99 versus $4.86 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 4.4% in earnings ($4.77 versus $4.99).

You can view the full analysis from the report here: WMT Ratings Report


5. Crown Castle International

CCI ChartCCI data by YCharts

Renaissance Technologies initiated a new 1.5 million-share position in Crown Castle International  (CCI - Get Report) in the most recently reported quarter. With a position of that size, the stock would have a current market value of $124.6 million and comprise 0.3% of Renaissance Technologies' portfolio.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Crown Castle International as a buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate Crown Castle International (CCI) a buy. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team include:

  • Crown Castle International reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, Crown Castle International increased its bottom line by earning $0.99 versus $0.28 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.24 versus $0.99).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 3291.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $34.01 million to $1,153.36 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for Crown Castle International is rather high; currently it is at 63.71%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 128.23% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $462.97 million or 15.33% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -1.20%.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: CCI Ratings Report


4. Priceline Group


Renaissance Technologies initiated a new 135,199-share position in Priceline (PCLN) in the most recently reported quarter. With a position of that size, the stock would have a current market value of $163.3 million and comprise 0.4% of Renaissance Technologies' portfolio.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Priceline Group as a buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate Priceline Group (PCLN) a buy. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team include:

  • PCLN's revenue growth trails the industry average of 34.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.61, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.14, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Internet & Catalog Retail industry and the overall market, Priceline Group's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for Priceline Group is currently very high, coming in at 89.96%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 18.10% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Priceline Group's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, Priceline Group increased its bottom line by earning $45.73 versus $36.01 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($55.50 versus $45.73).

You can view the full analysis from the report here: PCLN Ratings Report


3. Union Pacific


Renaissance Technologies initiated a new 1.95 million-share position in Union Pacific (UNP - Get Report) in the most recently reported quarter. With a position of that size, the stock would have a current market value of $188.2 million and comprise 0.4% of Renaissance Technologies' portfolio..

TheStreet Ratings team rates Union Pacific as a buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate Union Pacific (UNP) a buy. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and reasonable valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.64, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Road & Rail industry and the overall market, Union Pacific's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • 45.05% is the gross profit margin for Union Pacific which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 22.17% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,709.00 million or 17.53% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 5.68%.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: UNP Ratings Report


2. Facebook


Renaissance Technologies initiated a new 2.6 million-share position in Facebook (FB - Get Report) in the most recently reported quarter. With a position of that size, the stock would have a current market value of $252.2 million and comprise 0.6% of Renaissance Technologies' portfolio.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Facebook as a buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate Facebook (FB) a buy. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team include:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 41.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • FB's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.01 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 7.97, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,700.00 million or 32.29% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 17.38%.
  • The gross profit margin for Facebook is currently very high, coming in at 94.44%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 14.45% trails the industry average.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, FB's share price has jumped by 33.87%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: FB Ratings Report

1. Amazon

Renaissance Technologies initiated a new 1.15 million-share position in Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) in the most recently reported quarter. With a position of that size, the stock would have a current market value of $606.4 million and comprise 1.3% of Renaissance Technologies' portfolio.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Amazon.com as a hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate Amazon.com (AMZN) a hold. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, robust revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team include:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Internet & Catalog Retail industry. The net income increased by 173.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$126.00 million to $92.00 million.
  • AMZN's revenue growth trails the industry average of 34.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 131.67% to $1,997.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, Amazon.com's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 132.80%.
  • Amazon.com reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, Amazon.com swung to a loss, reporting -$0.54 versus $0.58 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.49 versus -$0.54).
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Internet & Catalog Retail industry and the overall market, Amazon.com's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: AMZN Ratings Report

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