A Giant Pension Bought Up PG&E, Zoom, and a Stock Elon Musk Loves

Elon Musk Zoom South Korea

One of the world’s largest public pensions has taken an interest in a California utility, an online marketplace, and a videoconferencing firm.

National Pension Service of South Korea initiated investments in PG&E (ticker: PCG) and Etsy(ETSY), bought more shares Zoom Video Communications (ZM), and sold most of its holdings in Teva Pharmaceutical Industries(TEVA). The fund disclosed the stock trades, among others, in a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

National Pension didn’t respond to a request for comment on its investment changes. It manages assets of $730 billion, substantially more than the $449 billion overseen by The California Public Employees Retirement System, the largest U.S. pension.

National Pension bought 2.2 million PG&E shares in the fourth quarter. It hadn’t owned any shares of the utility at the end of the third.

PG&E stock rose 14.6% in 2020, and so far this year it has slid 15.7%. In comparison, the S&P 500 index, a measure of the broader market, rose 16.3% last year, and it has gained 1.5% year to date.

PG&E said in December that it expected a pretax charge of about $275 million related to the deadly Zogg Fire in California. Shortly after the new year, the utility welcomed a new CEO.

The pension bought 181,720 Etsy shares, a new holding, in the fourth quarter.

Etsy stock rose more than four times in price last year, and is up 23.8% so far in 2021.

Etsy’s latest earnings crushed expectations. One analyst sees Etsy stock as a retail winner in 2021, “a transition year.” Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has professed his love for Etsy, as well.

Zoom stock soared five times in price last year, and year to date it is up 10.8%.

Zoom added new features to accommodate a hybrid workforce as people return to offices from home. Zoom CFO Kelly Steckelberg told us that the company’s focus for 2021 is on “Zoom as a platform.” The company is reportedly working on email and calendar services. Zoom recently raised $2 billion in a recent stock offering.

National Pension bought 51,125 additional Zoom shares in the fourth quarter to end 2020 with 230,252 shares.

The fund sold 1.4 million Teva shares in the quarter to slash its investment to 293,882 shares of the drug company.

Teva stock slipped 1.5% last year, and so far this year it is up 11.5%.

Teva doesn’t source active pharmaceutical ingredients from China, but company CEO Kåre Schultz told us earlier this month that sourcing from that country is a risk. Teva’s latest earningswere strong. Value investor Bill Miller is bullish on Teva stock.

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