In the world of stock market legends, George Soros stands out. Although his political activities are a lightning rod for controversy, no one can doubt his financial acumen. After all, he is “the man who broke the Bank of England” and made a billion dollars in one day when he shorted the pound sterling in 1992.
His hedge fund, Soros Fund Management, showed three decades of steady gains, averaging 30% annual returns until 2000. During that time and today in managing his personal fortune, Soros took a risk-tolerant stance toward his investments, and did not hesitate to trades based on news and reports on global events.
Soros once commented: “We [at Soros Fund Management] sparingly use options and more exotic derivatives. We try to catch the new trends in the early stage and in the later stages we try to catch the trend reversal. Therefore, we tend to stabilize rather than destabilize the market. We are not doing this as a public service. This is our style of making money.
So when Soros makes a move, it’s only natural that investors sit up and take notice. With that in mind, we decided to take a look at two stocks that his fund recently loaded. Soros isn’t the only one showing confidence in these names; According to TipRanks databaseWall Street analysts rate both as strong buys.
Las Vegas Sands (LVS)
First up is a new position for Soros, Las Vegas Sands. This casino and resort company has a household name in its hometown – but it no longer has Vegas entertainment and resort locations. While still based in Las Vegas, Sands has now turned its focus to the international leisure scene and owns 6 properties – one in Singapore and 5 in the city of Macau on China’s southern coast.
However, the company’s financial statements show that pandemic-related restrictions continue to put pressure on the bottom line. This is particularly important as most of Sands’ properties are located in Macau – and Chinese authorities have not hesitated to lock down cities and restrict movement. However, Sands reported $1.05 billion in net income in the most recent quarter, 2Q22. That’s down from the $1.17 billion reported in the year-ago quarter. The company also posted a net loss from continuing operations of $414 million, compared to $280 million in 2Q21.
Despite overall losses in Q2, Sands saw revenue from its Singapore property double. Marina Bay Sands, located in the city, recorded EBITDA of $319 million, based on net revenues of $679 million. That compares with net income of $327 million in the year-ago quarter.
The 2Q22 results are the first quarterly announcement for Sands since it completed the sale of its US assets. That sale was finalized in February of this year to VICI Properties and Apollo Global Management for a total of $6.25 billion.
As noted, this stock is a new position for Soros, and in the last quarter he bought a total of 220,000 shares. At the current price, that stake is now worth about $8.26 million.
Credit Suisse Analyst Benjamin Chaiken lays out a comprehensive case for LVS bulls, writing about the stock: “LVS has held up well since the start of the year and we think it should continue to outperform. Singapore is accelerating, Macau can’t get much worse (the casinos are closed), the balance sheet is in great shape, and Singapore’s recovery (faster than we expected) may give some insight into what an eventual Macau recovery might look like ( maybe) … We think the stock should have a lot of support around $30, where we’d say you’re building in zero value in Macau.”
Not surprisingly, Chaiken puts an outperform (i.e., buy) rating on LVS stock, and his 12-month price target of $59 suggests a 56% gain is expected. (To watch Chaiken’s record, Press here)
Judging by the breakdown of analyst ratings, the bulls are clearly in the majority. Out of 9 recent reviews, 8 have come down as Buy – versus one Sell. Overall, this gives LVS shares their consensus rating of Strong Buy. Shares are trading at $37.72, and the average target price of $47.78 suggests a 26% upside for one year. (See the LVS stock forecast at TipRanks)
Salesforce, Inc. (CRM)
For the next stock, we’ll turn to the world of technology and marketing, where Salesforce has long been an industry leader. The company derives its ticker, CRM, from its core product, customer relationship management (CRM) software packages. They are offered as cloud-based solutions through the popular SaaS subscription format. Salesforce’s enterprise clientele uses the products to manage and solve front-end marketing problems.
Later this month, Salesforce will release its results for the second quarter of fiscal 2023, but we can look back at the company’s first fiscal quarter and its recent trends to get an idea of where it stands now.
In its fiscal first quarter of 2013, Salesforce reported $7.41 billion at the top, a 24% increase over the prior year’s first quarter and its highest revenue result in two years. The company also saw a strong year-over-year increase of 14% in operating cash flow for the quarter to a total of $3.68 billion.
On the downside, non-GAAP earnings per share reported were 98 cents per share, down from the $1.21 reported a year earlier.
Looking forward to fiscal 2Q23, we note that Salesforce is targeting revenue of $7.69 billion to $7.70 billion, or a 20% increase over the prior year. For fiscal 2023 overall, Salesforce is targeting a top line in the range of $31.7 billion to $31.8 billion. Again, this would mean a 20% profit on an annual basis.
It’s a stock Soros already had a position in — and in the last quarter, he expanded that position by 138%. It first purchased CRM in 1Q21, and its latest acquisition added 364,209 shares to its stack. Soros now owns 627,509 shares of Salesforce worth more than $115.24 million.
Soros isn’t the only one giving these tech stocks some love. 5 star reviewer Keith Weiss, from Morgan Stanley, describes Salesforce as “the most attractive risk/reward in software.” and goes on to say, “We believe that unique exposure to the broadest digital transformation initiative focused on driving further automation and efficiency will prove to be a more durable demand driver for Salesforce than expected. Additionally, the partners pointed to early signs of potential consolidation of IT budgets—a trend that plays to Salesforce’s strengths given the breadth of its platform… We believe that business slowdowns—whether organic or related with macro — already overvalued at current levels.”
In line with these comments, Weiss rates CRM stock as Overweight (ieBuy) and his $273 price target points to a 49% upside over the next 12 months. (To watch Weiss’ record, Press here)
Overall, Salesforce is a large company with a market cap of $182 billion and has attracted a lot of attention on Wall Street. There are 32 analyst reviews recorded here and they include 27 buys, 4 holds and 1 sell for a strong consensus rating of buy. The stock has an average target price of $240.70 and a current trading price of $183.33, which points to an upside of ~31% over the next 12 months. (See the CRM stock forecast at TipRanks)
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Rebuttal: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.