Alphabet Inc.’s stock proved a favorite pick among investment funds during the first quarter, suggesting that notable managers weren’t sweating the threat of artificial-intelligence competition that dogged the name at various points during the period.
Several investment funds opened up new positions in the Google parent company during the quarter, recent 13-F filings revealed. One was Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Capital Management LP, which showed a fresh stake in Alphabet’s Class A and Class C shares worth $1.066 billion combined as of the end of the first quarter.
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Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC bought a new stake of 4.75 million Class A Alphabet shares during the first quarter, worth $492.7 million as of the end of the period. Stanley Druckenmiller’s Duquesne Family Office disclosed a smaller new position of 877,720 Class A shares that was valued at just over $91 million as of the end of the quarter.
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The purchases came during a quarter when Alphabet shares lagged those of Big Tech peers Apple Inc. Microsoft Corp. Amazon.com Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc. though Alphabet shares were up more than 17% in the period.
Alphabet shares have come under pressure at various points this year amid concerns about the rise of artificial intelligence and what it means for the company’s dominant search business. While Alphabet is a big player in AI and recently introduced its own AI chatbot, Bard, some have worried that Microsoft could eat into Alphabet’s search market share.
An analyst mused Monday that chatbots could mark a greater threat to search engines in general, as consumers ultimately could come to ask for more information from bots run by social-media services.
Alphabet shares were headed for a milestone Tuesday, however, up more than 1% in the session and on pace for the company to finish with a market capitalization above $1.5 trillion for the first time since May 4, 2022, according to Dow Jones Market Data.