The investment arm of one of the world’s biggest insurers just made major changes in its U.S.-traded investments.
MEAG Munich Ergo initiated a stake in iPhone maker
(ticker: AAPL), and bought more shares of chip maker
(NVDA), specialty-glass maker
(GLW), and vaccine maker
(PFE) in the second quarter. MEAG, which handles all the investment activities for Munich Re, disclosed the stock trades, among others, in a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
MEAG didn’t respond to a request for comment on the investment changes. As of March 31, it managed $337 billion in assets.
The asset manager bought 242,657 Apple shares in the second quarter. It hadn’t owned any at the end of the first quarter. Apple stock dove 23% in the first half of the year, compared with a 21% drop in the
S&P 500 index
So far in the third quarter, shares are up 13%, while the index has gained 4.7%.
Earlier this month, Apple shares slumped on a report that it was slowing hiring due to a softening economy. One analyst who covers the company thinks Apple could build a $20 billion advertising business by 2026. We added CEO Tim Cook to our latest list of Best CEOs, citing his “aggressive expansion into new services,” including streaming media, credit cards, digital payments, and other financial services. But we noted that not even Apple stock has been shielded from the bear market.
Likewise, Nvidia stock has been pummeled by selling pressure, tumbling 48% in the first half, but the maker of graphics chips has managed a 14% gain so far in the third quarter.
Slowing sales of PCs and a rout in cryptocurrencies, which require graphics chips to mine, has hurt Nvidia. Legislation to authorize subsidies for the chips industry might not favor designers such as Nvidia, as opposed to manufacturers such as
MEAG bought 66,593 additional Nvidia shares to double its investment to 130,142 shares at the end of June.
Slowing PC demand also hurt Corning stock, which slumped 15% in the first half, but it is up 9.1% so far in the third quarter.
Corning stock surged in January with a strong fourth-quarter report, and the first-quarter report in April didn’t disappoint, either. J.P. Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee expects a strong second-quarter report from Corning this week. Chatterjee lowered his price target on the shares to $41 from $45, for a lower multiple on earnings, but kept an Overweight rating. “[W]e now see the earlier aggressive top-line-growth targets of 6%-8% to be achievable through 2025, which, given the high fixed-cost basis for Corning, is likely to translate into strong earnings growth in the range of 12%-15% through 2025,” the analyst wrote.
The asset manager bought 392,019 more Corning shares to lift its investment to 1.1 million shares.
It also bought 247,702 more Pfizer shares to end the second quarter with 949,382 shares. Pfizer stock slipped 11% in the first half of the year, and so far in the third quarter shares have slid 2.3%.
The Food and Drug Administration fully approved Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for adolescents earlier this month. It was previously approved for children aged 12 to 15 on an emergency basis. AXS Investments recently launched a single-stock exchange-traded fund focused on a few shares including Pfizer designed to amplify their daily performance, or the inverse of that performance. CEO Albert Bourla also made our Best CEOs list, and we credit him with testing and producing German partner
(BNTX) highly effective Covid vaccine, and following that up with Paxlovid, a treatment for infected Covid patients. “The result has been millions of lives saved and a massive revenue windfall,” we noted.
Write to Ed Lin at email@example.com