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Is Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ:META) Billionaire Israel Englander’s Top Stock Pick for 2024?

We recently published a list entitled Billionaire Israel Englander's Top 10 Stock Picks for 2024. Since Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ:META) ranks 5th in the list, it deserves a deeper look.

Billionaire Israel Englander is one of the most notable hedge fund managers in America. He founded Millennium Management back in 1989. Today, the fund’s portfolio is worth over $234 billion. Englander nabbed the top spot in Bloomberg’s list of highest-earning hedge fund managers in 2023, with a whopping $2.8 billion in net earnings including gains from personal investments and fees. Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that Izzy Englander’s Millennium Management earned $600 million from commodities investments last year. However, in a separate report, the publication said despite installing a new chief of its commodities and making big changes, Millennium’s commodities business is lagging behind Citadel (of billionaire Ken Griffin) which made a whopping $8 billion from commodities in 2022. Bloomberg said, citing sources, that part of the reason why Millennium is struggling to post big gains is billionaire Englander’s imposition of “tight guardrails” to limit losses.  To make money in the commodities business, experts say, you have to take risks and give some freedom to traders. But Englander likes to be in control.  A Financial Times report earlier this year said Millennium Management manages a whopping $60 billion in assets, employs 5,400 people and has 17 offices. Yet Englander owns 100% of the firm.

The report said, citing a person who works at the fund, that this major concentration is “not a good idea.”

The FT report said Englander’s fund was up 8.3% in 2023 through October, while it returned 12.5% in 2022,  13.6% in 2021 and an impressive 25.9% in 2020.

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For this article, we scanned Millennium Management’s Q1 portfolio and picked the fund’s top 10 holdings. Why are we interested in the stocks that hedge funds pile into? The reason is simple: our research has shown that we can outperform the market by imitating the top stock picks of the best hedge funds. Our quarterly newsletter’s strategy selects 14 small-cap and large-cap stocks every quarter and has returned 275% since May 2014, beating its benchmark by 150 percentage points (see more details here).

Is Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ:META) Billionaire Israel Englander's Top Stock Pick for 2024?
Is Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ:META) Billionaire Israel Englander's Top Stock Pick for 2024?

Israel Englander of Millennium Management

Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ:META)

Billionaire Israel Englander’s Stake Value: $1,196,554,582

Raymond James recently upgraded Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ:META) shares citing the company’s generative AI ambitions. The firm’s analyst Josh Beck increased his price target on the stock to $550 from $525. Why is Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ:META) a promising AI stock? The social media giant is using AI for optimizing ad targeting and recommendation systems to boost engagement and ads revenue. In the first quarter, Meta Platforms Inc’s (NASDAQ:META) revenue jumped 27% to $36.5 billion. A whopping 97% of this revenue came courtesy of ads. In 2024, Meta Platforms Inc’s (NASDAQ:META) ads revenue is expected to rise by 17%. Reels, which is posting solid numbers and engagement lately, saw a 20% ad load in the first quarter, compared with 16.2% in the same quarter last year. Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:META) recently posted speculator Q1 results but the stock slipped after the company revealed that Meta Platforms Inc’s (NASDAQ:META) CapEx will come in the range of $35 billion to $40 billion, higher than the previous forecast of $30 billion to $37 billion.  However, long-term analysts believe since most of this spending will go into AI projects, it’ll bode well for the stock down the road.

Based on its 2025 EPS estimate of $23.11 set by Wall Street, Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ:META) is trading at a forward P/E of 21, which makes the stock attractively valued given Meta’s earnings are expected to grow 14.50% next year and by 30% over the next five years on a per-annum basis.

RiverPark Large Growth Fund stated the following regarding Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META) in its first quarter 2024 investor letter:

Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META): Meta was a top contributor in the quarter following fourth quarter earnings results in which the company reported accelerating revenue growth and expanding margins driven by a rebound in online advertising and strong user growth. On February 2nd, Meta reported 4Q23 revenue of $40.1 billion (+25% y/y up from +23% in 3Q23) and EPS of $5.33 (+203% y/y), and the midpoint of 1Q24 revenue guidance was $35.8 billion (+25% y/y), all well ahead of investors’ expectations. The company reported impressive revenue acceleration in its core advertising businesses, including new products like Reels and Threads. Advertiser adoption of Meta’s AI targeting tools helped drive strong ROI and higher spend across multiple categories.

META owns multiple social media platforms, each with more than one billion users, has an 81% gross margin, and generated $44 billion of FCF in 2023. Both its Facebook and its Instagram franchises have more than 2 billion Daily Active Users and generate the bulk of the company’s revenue. Recently, the company’s short form video offering, Reels, and public text-sharing app, Threads, achieved mass user engagement and growing advertiser adoption which have helped return the company to strong revenue and free cash flow growth. Even after the recent stock price advance, META shares trade at 20x Wall Street’s consensus estimates for 2025 EPS, estimates that we think could prove to be too low.”

Overall, Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ:META) ranks 5th on Insider Monkey’s list of Billionaire Israel Englander's Top 10 Stock Picks for 2024. You can visit Billionaire Israel Englander's Top 10 Stock Picks for 2024 to see other stocks in the list. While we acknowledge the potential of Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ:META), our conviction lies in the belief that under the radar AI stocks hold greater promise for delivering higher returns, and doing so within a shorter timeframe. If you are looking for an AI stock that is more promising than Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ:META) but that trades at less than 5 times its earnings, check out our report about the cheapest AI stock.

READ NEXT: Michael Burry Is Selling These Stocks and Jim Cramer is Recommending These Stocks.

Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.