The California Public Employees’ Retirement System and California State Teachers’ Retirement System had busy fourth quarters in 2021, investing in technology and green energy companies, and divesting from soft drink manufacturers and dietary supplement products.
CalPERS’ biggest increase in shares in Q4 was in Cisco, a technology conglomerate that manufactures and sells hardware, software and telecommunication equipment. The fund purchased an additional 6 million shares this quarter, according to its 13F report, making it the largest purchase of an individual stock that the company has made in the most recent quarter.
CalSTRS’ largest buy in Q4, according to its 13F, was Bloom Energy Corp., a green electricity company that uses solid oxide fuel cell generators that create electricity through a chemical reaction. The fund purchased over 900,000 shares of Bloom, which went public in 2014, increasing its total holdings in the company by 477%.
One corporation that falls on both CalPERS’ and CalSTRS’ lists of most bought shares this past quarter is Microchip Technology Inc. With headquarters in Arizona and assembly facilities located in the Philippines and Thailand, the pension funds might have seen it as a hedge against dependency on the semiconductor industry in Taiwan, which has been under the looming shadow of potential invasion from China.
CalPERS’ biggest sale this quarter was in the Coca-Cola company. Despite the company having relatively strong earnings in Q4, CalPERS sold more than 4 million shares, decreasing its total holdings in the company by 25%.
Coca-Cola may pose environmental, social and governance risks for investors since regular consumption is strongly linked with type 2 diabetes. The corporation has been under fire for its marketing practices in Mexico, where many say that the soft drink is more accessible than water. The corporation’s deal with a water plant in the Mexican city of San Cristobal De Las Casas may be contributing to the limited water supply and increased rates of fatal diabetes in the area, according to a New York Times article.
CalSTRS’ biggest sale last quarter was Nature’s Sunshine Products, a manufacturer and marketer of dietary supplements based in Utah. The fund sold over 500,000 shares last quarter, decreasing its total shares in the company by 99%.