George Soros loads up on Tesla and these other beaten-down stocks

Even as shares of Tesla Inc. sank last year, billionaire investor George Soros appeared to find something to like in the electric-vehicle maker — and some other beaten-down names — as the year came to a close.

His Soros Fund Management scooped up 242,399 shares of Tesla

during the fourth quarter, according to a filing on Monday, a roughly 270% increase, bringing the fund’s total holdings to 332,046 Tesla shares. Tesla stock crept 0.2% higher after hours on Monday.

The move came as more analysts have grown frustrated with Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, following his purchase of Twitter in October. Many on Wall Street viewed that acquisition as a distraction from running Tesla, which faces major questions about competition.

But Tesla, and Musk, loomed over Soros’ moves in other ways. During the quarter, the fund also bought 500,000 shares of Cathie Wood’s Ark Innovation ETF
whose biggest holding is Tesla, and whose value sank through 2022.

However, as Musk prepared to take the reins at Twitter, the filing shows that Soros cashed out his position in the social-media platform during the fourth quarter. Over that time, he also unloaded his position in pandemic-era staple Zoom Video Communications Inc.

Elsewhere, Soros loaded up on other embattled companies.

The fund acquired more than 83 million shares in fitness-bike maker Peloton Interactive Inc.

for a nearly 370% increase in the fund’s stake in the company, a onetime gainer from a surge in at-home workouts during the pandemic. He also took a new stake in struggling used-car seller Carvana Co.
as well as a new stake in Lyft Inc.
snapping up more than 83 million shares. Those shares took a big hit following its earnings report last week. Soros also hiked his stake in Uber Technologies Inc.

Soros also took more of an interest in crypto plays, after risk-averse investors backed away from the sector. The fund took a new stake of nearly 40 million shares in Marathon Digital Holdings
and acquired 17.2 millions shares of Block Inc.
It took a smaller stake in crypto-friendly bank Silvergate Capital Corp.

and also boosted its stakes in MicroStrategy Inc.

The filing also showed new stakes in big financial names Capital One Financial Corp.
Citigroup Inc.

and Discover Financial Services
Within autos, Soros Fund Management raised its stake in Ford Motor Co.

by 6.4% to 83 million shares. The fund also acquired 500,000 shares of General Motors Co.

The fund also fattened its stake in online craft marketplace Etsy Inc.

and media giant Walt Disney Co.
which is awash in drama over Chief Executive Bob Iger’s return, activist pressure, layoffs and restructuring.

The fund also bought millions of shares for a new stake in cloud-software provider Fastly
whose shares finished 27% higher on Monday following an upgrade from analysts at BofA.