Stock Market

Retails traders aren’t the only ones looking closely at electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ:RIVN) now. There are billionaires getting into the trade, and one is buying RIVN stock while the other is scaling back his position. At the same time, a prominent analyst is making the case that Rivian could pose a serious threat to EV industry leader Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).

I’m certainly not recommending buying a stock just because a billionaire is buying it. However, it can be fun and sometimes profitable to follow the moves of big-money investors.

RIVN stock lost ground in 2022, but could be poised for a comeback this year. There is a famous financier who isn’t building up his share position in Rivian, though. So, let’s see whether a couple of well-heeled investors have been buying or selling shares of Rivian lately.

George Soros Scales Back on RIVN Stock

A 13-F filing reveals that Soros Fund Management CEO George Soros greatly reduced his share position in Rivian Automotive. Specifically, he slashed his stake in Rivian from 16.4 million to 14.3 million shares.

Liquidating a couple million shares is a big deal. It’s also a big deal that Soros increased his position in TSLA stock during 2022’s fourth quarter.

Is he making a statement that it’s better to invest in Tesla than Rivian?

Not necessarily, as investors sell shares for a variety of reasons. Maybe Soros is satisfied with any returns he might have made with RIVN stock, or perhaps he engaged in tax-loss harvesting. Still, it’s interesting that Soros appears to have shifted some of his portfolio from Rivian to Tesla.

Paul Tudor Jones Took a Position in RIVN Stock

In contrast, Tudor Investment hedge fund founder Paul Tudor Jones took a sizable share position in Rivian Automotive, as revealed in a Form 13-F filing. Reportedly, Jones purchased 31,500 Rivian shares, equating to around $660,000.

Just like with Soros, we can’t know for certain why Paul Tudor Jones made his trade with RIVN stock. It’s pointless to try to guess what motivated Jones to allocate part of his account toward Rivian Automotive.

31,500 Rivian shares isn’t a huge position for a man of Jones’ means, but it still might motivate retail traders to take a closer look at the EV maker.

Barclays Analyst Sees Potential in Rivian

Barclays analyst Daniel Levy doesn’t necessarily view Rivian Automotive as a “Tesla killer.” Indeed, he acknowledges Tesla as the current EV market leader. Yet, Levy seems to consider Rivian Automotive as a potential runner-up to Tesla.

“We are hard-pressed to see any company in the auto landscape as the ‘next Tesla,’ as Tesla has been quite unique in its accomplishments,” the Barclays analyst admits. I tend to concur with this assessment; Rivian Automotive doesn’t have the financial wherewithal to topple a giant like Tesla.

“That said, if we were to identify any of the start-up EV automakers as the closest to Tesla, we believe it would be RIVN,” Levy added.

That’s a bold statement, and I disagree with it. Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) are committing massive amounts of capital toward vehicle electrification. It won’t be easy for relatively small Rivian to overtake these automotive giants.

Still, it’s fine to follow Paul Tudor Jones and buy shares of RIVN stock. It’s wise to maintain a moderate position size, though, as Rivian Automotive faces heavy competition from Tesla and others.

On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

David Moadel has provided compelling content – and crossed the occasional line – on behalf of Motley Fool, Crush the Street, Market Realist, TalkMarkets, TipRanks, Benzinga, and (of course) InvestorPlace.com. He also serves as the chief analyst and market researcher for Portfolio Wealth Global and hosts the popular financial YouTube channel Looking at the Markets.

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