First Eagle Investments Portfolio Performance: Can They Deliver Returns?

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Jacob Wolinsky
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First Eagle Investments (FEI) has a long tradition, and its traces go back to 1864 and to a family-owned bank Arnhold Brothers. In 1937 the bank moved its location from Dresden, Germany, to New York where it has worked since then. This fund operates on the principles of value investing, it has a global perspective and spreads across different asset classes. First Eagle Investments Portfolio stocks are valued at $43.5 billion, divided among 398 holdings.

The biggest holding is Meta Platforms Inc, followed by Oracle Corp. These two holdings take 11% of the portfolio, and some other noted holdings include Imperial Oil, Exxon Mobil Corp, and HCA Healthcare Inc.

They recently exited from their Circor International (NYSE:CIR) holding. Other major decreases in holdings include Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Ross Stores Inc (NASDAQ:ROST). Notable increases encompass Medtronic PLC (NYSE:MDT), Newmont Corp (NYSE:NEM), and Oneok Inc (NYSE:OKE). For more information about their strategy and portfolio, stay with us.

Top Holdings

  • Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:META) with 6.6% of the portfolio

The firm owns 5.61 million Meta shares valued at $2.86 billion. They have been buying their stocks during 2022 while their price was declining. Then in 2023 while the price was on the rise, they sold a smaller portion of this holding. Currently, they hold a significant stake in a company that is on the rise. Since the beginning of February, Meta stocks saw a steep rise from $395 to over $500. First Eagle Investments invested a total of $1.13 billion in the Meta, generating a return of 153%.

  • Oracle Corp (NYSE:ORCL) with 5.43% of the portfolio

First Eagle Investments bought a massive stake in Oracle in 2013 acquiring 21.3 million stocks at $34.75. During the years they have been trading their stocks, but the majority of this current portfolio dates back to those stocks. The price since then has risen to well above $100. Their investment in Oracle is at $674 million, while the current value is $2.37 billion, generating a return of 251%.

  • Imperial Oil (TSE:IMO) with 3.50% of the portfolio

Trading this holding started in 2015 and the company increased its stake until 2021. In that period the stock price fluctuated between $15 and $37. Currently, they own 22.5 million stocks after slight trimmings in the last three years. Since 2022 the stock price hasn’t gone below $45 generating a substantial gain for the investor. In 2024 the stock price is on a steep rise reaching a current value of $67. This investment proved its mettle generating a return of 127%.

  • Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) with 3.44% of the portfolio

Exxon is another long-term holding going back to 2013. Between 2013 and 2019 First Eagle Investment bought a big stake in the company. Then the price was between $82 and $70. They trimmed their holding on a couple of occasions in 2021 when they were at a loss due to the low price going to $40. They have been selling their stake ever since, and they have been making some gains due to the price rise. In 2023 the price went above $100, and it has kept steady at that level. FEI owns 13.2 million shares valued at $1.5 billion, while they invested $960 million.

  • HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA) with 3.41% of the portfolio

HCA Healthcare is another trademark value investing holding that was bought for the long run. FEI started buying their stocks when they were below $40. The price skyrocketed and reached $330. Now they own 4.5 million stocks, while in 2023 they conducted smaller trades. The holding is valued at $1.49 billion, and it brought a gain of 106%.

  • Schlumberger Ltd (NYSE:SLB) with 3.33% of the portfolio

The trading of Schlumberger holding was very busy and First Eagle Investment Management conducted over 30 trades since 2013. In that period the price fluctuated between $15 and over $100. From the beginning of 2023, the price has been set between $40 and $60. FEI owns 26.9 million stocks valued at $1.45 billion. The firm invested $1.49 billion resulting in a loss of 3.0%.

  • Comstat Corp Class A (NASDAQ:CMCSA) with 3.13% of the portfolio

Like most of the bigger portfolio holdings, Comstat is a regular and long-time part of the First Eagle Investment Management portfolio. They own a massive stake of 31.9 million stocks valued at $1.36 billion. The price of their stock went down in late 2022 reaching a low of $28. Since then they gained back some of their value reaching $42. The firm invested $945 million, resulting in a gain of 44% so far.

Key Sector

The key sector in First Eagle Investment Management’s portfolio is Technology, but they invest in securities from different industries. They have shares held in all major industries, ranging from tech and finance to industrials and healthcare. Their current sector diversification goes as follows:

  1. Technology with 28.6% of the portfolio valued at $12.4 billion
  2. Finance with 17.3% of the portfolio valued at $7.53 billion
  3. Energy with 11.5% of the portfolio valued at $4.99 billion
  4. Consumer Staples with 10.3% of the portfolio valued at $4.46 billion
  5. Materials with 9.8% of the portfolio valued at $4.26 billion
  6. Healthcare with 9.4% of the portfolio valued at $4.11 billion
  7. Industrials with 6.7% of the portfolio valued at $2.90 billion
  8. Consumer Discretionary with 3.0% of the portfolio valued at $1.29 billion
  9. Others with 3.3% of the portfolio valued at $1.42 billion.

First Eagle Investments Portfolio Analysis

Notable Success

  • Exxon Mobil Corp. Despite the criticism of investing in a producer of fossil fuels, it has generated a substantial return for the company. They faced scrutiny due to the increasing importance of ESG factors, but they continued to invest in it nonetheless. The process of moving away from fuel fuels will be long, and until then they will be required for the world to run as we see it today.
  • Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS). It has been a part of the company’s portfolio between 2013 and 2019. They bought a massive stake of 17 million shares at prices between $43 and $50. Slowly they sold the entire stake at prices between $60 and $220 generating a massive profit.
  • Microsoft Corp. One of the most lucrative holdings in the Eagle Investment Management portfolio. They bought the majority of their stake at prices between $27 and $44. They stopped increasing this holding in 2014 and since then they are slowly trimming it. Some of the sales were above $300 which resulted in solid returns to the investors.

Notable Failure

  • Ingevity Corp (NYSE:NGVT). This one-time buy dates back to late 2023. The firm bought a stake at $54 and they quickly sold it for $41.
  • Newmont Corp. Although not a major loss, this long-term investment didn’t bring positive gains. They invested $892 million, while the value of the holding is $802 million, resulting in a loss of 10%.

First Eagle Investments Approach and Strategy

The cornerstone of First Eagle Investment’s strategy is value investing. That includes heavy reliance on identifying undervalued assets. Portfolio managers follow bottom-up research and are focused on the company itself.

They are checking for debt and credit levels, and cash flow of the potential investments. They prefer investing in companies with active management that have a good track record. Once they identify the undervalued company they aim for long-term capital appreciation once the market recognizes its value.

Also, an important change to mention is the move away from large-cap businesses. Eight years ago their portfolio consisted of 95% large-cap investments, and today that percentage is only 67%. The goal is not so much in the size of the business but what it can offer to its customers.

Other crucial factors are the customer base, and how essential the products and services of the company are to them.

Take A Look At Margin of Safety Investing with First Eagle Investments:

Risk Management Strategies

Essential risk management strategies of the First Eagle Investment Management LLC are included in their investment approach. By looking for companies with a low intrinsic value they are creating a hedge against sudden market downturns that could destroy potential gains.

Diversification also plays a big role in mitigating risk. This doesn’t only include diversification among different industries, but also in the form of different classes of securities. They are investing in stocks, bonds, real estate, and gold, among other asset classes. This way if there is a change in an industry or a major economic factor challenges security, the majority of the portfolio is safe.

Other tactics include utilizing stop-loss orders in a case of quick change in value, accompanied by active risk management of every holding.

Future Outlook & Strategies

First Eagle Investments is a major player in the investment field, and their moves often announce new trends. Some of the recent changes in their approach included focusing on small-cap investments, solidifying their holdings in gold, and moving into the alternative credit market.

They took their take on Bitcoin and they concluded that it will not be able to replace gold any time soon. They point out the issues of high volatility, higher beta to equities, and maturation-related insecurities as their big flaws.


Who Owns First Eagle Holdings?

A majority stake has been held by Blackrock Group and Corsair Capital since 2015, but employees and founders still hold solid stakes.

How Big Is the First Eagle?

First Eagle is a financial conglomerate. They deal in several financial sectors and have seven operating mutual funds. They are focused on different strategies including Global Value, International Value, U.S. Value, U.S. Dividend Equity, Global Income, Gold, High Yield, Broadly Syndicated Loans, and Direct Lending.

They have over 600 employees and manage a portfolio valued at over $128 billion. They for sure represent a major player in the financial sector.

Who Owns First Eagle Bank?

First Eagle Bank is owned by First Eagle Bancshares Inc. Like in many other situations the bank is a subsidiary of an actual holding company.

Who Are First Eagle Investments Competitors?

Several major asset management firms offer similar or the same financial services like FIrst Eagle Investments:

  • Vanguard
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Federated Hermes
  • Rockefeller Capital Management.

Final Considerations

From the last quarter’s increases like Noble Corp, Oneok Inc, Franco Nevada Corp, Newmont Corp, and B2Gold Corp we can see that the First Eagle Investments are betting for gold and fossil fuels companies. They significantly reduced their stake at Microsoft and Everbridge Inc pointing to a potential shift from tech companies.

Their global-focused funds delivered returns between 6% and 12% in comparison with the MSCI World Index return of 25%. On the other hand, U.S.-oriented funds performed a bit better, generating between 8% and 14% returns. They have shown some changes in their approach, which still has to show its full potential, which we can expect from this giant and pioneer of value investing.

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of HedgeFundAlpha (formerly ValueWalk Premium), a popular value investing and hedge fund focused intelligence service. Prior to founding the company, Jacob worked as an equity analyst focused on small caps. Jacob lives with his wife and five kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at) FD: I do not purchase any equities to avoid conflict of interest and any insider information. I only purchase broad-based ETFs and mutual funds.