A Huge Bank Doubled Down on NIO Stock. It Sold Intel, Salesforce, and Disney.

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The asset manager of Norway’s largest bank just made big changes in its U.S.-traded stock portfolio, including more than doubling a position in a maker of electric vehicles, and selling off tech names that had strong runs in the first three quarters of 2023.

DNB Asset Management slashed investments in chip maker
Intel
(ticker: INTC), software firm
Salesforce
(CRM), and media and entertainment company Walt
Disney
(DIS), and materially raised an investment in Chinese EV maker
NIO
(NIO) in the third quarter. DNB disclosed the stock trades, among others, in a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The manager didn’t respond to a request for comment. DNB managed about $80 billion in assets as of the fourth quarter of 2021.

DNB sold 578,619 Intel shares to end the third quarter with 2.5 million shares of the chip maker. Intel stock surged 35% in the first nine months of 2023, after tumbling 49% in 2022. For comparison, the
S&P 500 index
tacked on 12% in the first nine months of 2023, after a 19% slide in 2022. So far in the fourth quarter, Intel shares are down 1.8% compared with a 1.5% drop in the index.

Intel shares rose earlier this month after the company announced plans for an initial public offering for its programmable-chip business. Some analysts think the move could help Intel compete better with rival
Nvidia
(NVDA). Tighter rules on exports of artificial-intelligence chips to China, however, could hurt the sales of both companies.

Salesforce has tried to insulate itself to some degree from rifts between Beijing and Washington by isolating its China business from the rest of its global operations. After laying off people earlier this year, Salesforce was hiring again in September. The company also that month updated its AI software tools.

Salesforce stock rocketed 53% in the first three quarters of 2023, after a 48% plunge in 2022. So far in the fourth quarter, shares are flat. DNB sold 1.1 million Salesforce shares in the third quarter, slashing its investment to 238,197 shares.

The asset manager sold 778,089 Disney shares to end September with 381,817 shares.

Disney turned 100 this month, and its centennial year finds the company embroiled in a battle with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. On its media front, a strike with writers is over, but actors are still on the picket line. The company is, however, pouring more money into growing its parks business.

Disney stock slipped 6.7% in the first nine months of the year, after a 44% drop in 2022. So far in the fourth quarter, shares are up 2.0%.

NIO American depositary receipts slipped 7.3% in the first three quarters of 2023, after a 69% plunge in 2022. They’re down 16% so far in the fourth quarter.

NIO’s deliveries have been solid this year, but quarterly losses have been wider than expected. NIO said in September it wasn’t considering a capital raise, despite reports it was. In the past week, NIO ADRs slid after a disappointing report from bellwether EV maker
Tesla
(TSLA).

DNB bought 86,814 more NIO ADRs in the third quarter to lift its investment to 153,192 ADRs.

Inside Scoop is a regular Barron’s feature covering stock transactions by corporate executives and board members—so-called insiders—as well as large shareholders, politicians, and other prominent figures. Due to their insider status, these investors are required to disclose stock trades with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other regulatory groups.

Write to Ed Lin at [email protected] and follow @BarronsEdLin.



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