Is Bilibili (BILI) One of the Best Stocks to Invest In?

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Baillie Gifford, a large-scale investment management firm in the UK, published its “Long Term Global Growth Fund” second quarter 2021 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. A quarterly return of 13.59% was recorded by the fund for the second quarter of 2021, compared to the 7.53% return of its MSCI ACWI benchmark. You can view the fund’s top 5 holdings to have an idea about their top bets for 2021.

In the Q2 2021 investor letter of Baillie Gifford, the fund mentioned Bilibili Inc. (NASDAQ: BILI), and discussed its stance on the firm. Bilibili Inc. is a China-based video game publisher, that currently has a $32.7 billion market capitalization. BILI delivered a -0.16% return since the beginning of the year, while its 12-month returns are up by 96.37%. The stock closed at $85.58 per share on July 30, 2021.

Here is what Baillie Gifford has to say about Bilibili Inc. in its Q2 2021 investor letter:

“One of the most important cognitive elements, is our recognition that consumer patterns and attitudes are evolving increasingly rapidly and with ever greater amplitude. While the human needs for self-actualisation, esteem and belonging are innate and immutable, they are being expressed in new ways. Tastes are being shaped by social groups who are culturally similar but geographically distant. The lines between the physical and digital-self continue to blur.

To those in the throes of middle age, this can be discombobulating. I profess to unease when my daughter recently earned five pounds stacking logs – only to ‘blow’ this pocket money on a pair of virtual Gucci sneakers for her online Roblox character. But we need to be imaginative about the possible size of the market for virtual luxury in the long term and it’s encouraging to observe that Kering is already on the front foot. It is also amply clear that the experienced Long Term Global Growth investors who predate Generations Y & Z, need the help of colleagues in understanding the mood and aspirations of a new cohort of conscious consumers. In this sense, the multigenerational and multicultural dynamic within the LTGG team (and indeed across the broader Baillie Gifford investment floor), has never seemed more important.

Meanwhile, it was our Shanghai-based colleagues who patiently educated us on the potential for the new holding in Bilibili – the fastest growing mainstream entertainment portal for Chinese teenagers and young adults. Bilibili’s range of video, gaming and anime comic content is formidable (and hugely under monetised) but the registration process for any budding Bilibili curator or commentator involves a test with one hundred multiple choice questions on topics including copyrights, commentary etiquette, platform neologism and – à la Mastermind – niche questions based on topics of the entrant’s choosing. To western observers, this is bemusing because every successful social platform in the west is focussed on reducing registration friction. But for Bilibili, the initiation ritual of the entrance exam cements the bond that users have with the platform, aligning them with the existing community to drive a stickier userbase and fewer trolls – a dynamic that is so easy for a cognitively narrow stock market to overlook.”

Games, gaming, gamer

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Based on our calculations, Bilibili Inc. (NASDAQ: BILI) was not able to clinch a spot in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. BILI was in 53 hedge fund portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2021, compared to 46 funds in the fourth quarter of 2020. Bilibili Inc. (NASDAQ: BILI) delivered a -22.80% return in the past 3 months.

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 115 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

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