Yale continued to shift its investment holdings during the final months of 2000 amid turbulent market conditions.
The University dropped and replaced more than one-third of the securities held in its own name, according to a form Yale filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday. The Form 13-F, submitted by Yale Chief Investment Officer David Swensen for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2000, contains more than 20 securities not on the filing for the previous quarter. More than two dozen holdings were divested entirely.
The high investment turnover rate in the quarterly report to the SEC, while not unusual over an entire quarter, adds to the uncertainty surrounding the endowment’s performance in recent months.
In all, the form shows that Yale held 70 securities in its own name worth $597.8 million as of Dec. 31.
The Form 13-F is merely a snapshot in time — accurate only at the end of the day Dec. 31 — and contains information about a very limited portion of the University’s holdings. The bulk of assets that comprise Yale’s $10 billion endowment are managed by outside professionals and are not included in this filing.
But the document does provide a sampling of Yale’s stock and mutual fund holdings.
Yale officials do not comment on the contents or performance of the University’s investment portfolio except for an annual announcement. Administrators familiar with recent endowment figures, including Yale President Richard Levin, have said while this year’s unstable market conditions are a cause for concern, the endowment is not in jeopardy.
Even as officials remain largely mum, the University still must disclose by law a list reflecting the amount of all holdings in its name each quarter because it owns more than $100 million worth of securities.
Royce Value Trust, Inc., a closed-end investment trust that buys stock in small, undervalued companies, remains the largest investment Yale holds in its own name. The 8.75 million shares were worth $126.2 million on Dec. 31. Yale funds alone account for nearly five percent of little-known Royce’s total assets.
The University also invests heavily in several other mutual funds, including Royce Micro-Cap Trust Inc., Morgan Stanley Dean Witter’s government income fund and several American Strategic Income funds.
Between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 of last year, Yale purged several battered Internet stocks from its portfolio while adding other troubled technology stocks to replace them. The University dropped Lycos Inc. and Ask Jeeves Inc., as well as network solutions provider Cisco Systems, Inc. in favor of a $7 million stake in AOL Time Warner, among other purchases.
Overall, Yale’s 70 securities range from notable hotel-chain Hilton Hotels Corp. to computer giant IBM. Other holdings include:
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.: Yale just added this maker of Excedrin, NoDoz, and Herbal Essences to its portfolio in the last quarter. Unless Yale bought the stock early in the fourth quarter when its price dipped, the University has suffered a small loss to date.
General Electric Co.: Yale also snagged shares of GE sometime during the fourth quarter. One of the largest corporations in the world, GE’s stock took a beating between September and early January, losing 25 percent of its value. If Yale invested in the company at the end of the year, Old Blue may have gotten a blue-chip bargain.
Intuitive Surgical Inc.: Yale recently bought 75,000 shares of this company, which developed an advanced surgical system for procedures, like cardiac surgery, that demand dexterity. After a promising start, the stock tanked during the fall. Yale may have bought shares in December, after the stock price bottomed-out.
Phillip Morris Cos. Inc.: Yale retains 64,712 shares of the cigarette maker and parent of Kraft Foods and Miller Brewing Co. in the wake of a 1998 investment ethics controversy. The stock is up more than 50 percent in recent months.
Wolverine World Wide Inc.: Yale owns just $210,000 worth of stock in this company, whose symbol is WWW, but is anything but tech-related. Wolverine is a shoe company, which has a license to sell Harley Davidson, Coleman and Caterpillar brand footwear, as well as its own Hush Puppies brand.