Cathie Wood's Ark Invest ditched Spotify shares during its Joe Rogan controversy — and snapped up $30 million worth of battered Robinhood stock

Cathie Wood's Ark Invest ditched Spotify shares during its Joe Rogan controversy — and snapped up $30 million worth of battered Robinhood stock
Cathie Wood, CEO and CIO of Ark Invest.Brendan McDermid/Reuters
  • Ark Invest dumped over 84,000 shares in Spotify as they slumped amid a row over COVID-19 info and Joe Rogan's podcast.
  • Musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulled their music from the platform to protest the Spotify-owned podcast.
  • At the same time Friday, Ark bought 2.45 million Robinhood shares worth $31.5 million.

Famed stock picker Cathie Wood's Ark Invest ditched Spotify shares last week as the audio-streaming service faced a row over its Joe Rogan podcast, with high-profile artists asking to pull their songs from the platform.

Spotify has historically been one of Wood's favorite holdings. But Ark shed part of its stake in the company on Friday, when its Innovation ETF and the Next Generation Internet ETF sold more than 84,000 shares worth $14.5 million.

The flagship Ark Innovation fund still counts Spotify as a top 10 holding, with a 4.08% weighting in its portfolio.

Ark's moves came as Spotify's shares slumped 12%, after musicians Joni Mitchell and Neil Young asked the company to remove their music from its platform. Critics say the Spotify-owned "The Joe Rogan Experience" has helped to spread COVID-19 misinformation.

The streaming service provider was flooded with complaints, and its CEO on Sunday said it would add content advisories for podcast episodes discussing coronavirus and vaccines.


Spotify was last up 10% at $190.26 a share in regular trading on Monday, down more than 18% for the year so far. Ahead of Monday's session, its shares were down 26% so far this year, partly due to tech stocks being sensitive to rising interest rates.

On Friday, Ark also piled into Robinhood as its shares rallied. The same funds that unloaded Spotify bought 2.45 million shares in the trading app provider, the highest number since Robinhood's stock market debut in July.

The day of the purchases, Robinhood's stock fell as low as $10, before bouncing back along with the broader market. At Friday's closing price of $12.73, the shares bought are worth almost $31.2 million.

Ark's Robinhood purchases came on the day when the trading app's stock fell as low as $10 at one point before bouncing back along with the broader market.

Still, Ark has bought Robinhood shares almost every week since October, when its stock fell below its IPO price, according to Bloomberg.


Robinhood rose 6% on Monday to $13.56 a share, and is down almost 24% for the year so far. Even at its current price, its stock is at all-time lows, down 64% from its IPO price of $38.

Wood's funds have been battling with the rout in technology stocks. Its flagship ETF has suffered its worst drawdown since its inception, falling about 48% in the last 12 months.

The pain has continued this year, with ARKK already down 22% so far this year. Many of Ark's tech favorites have been hurt by the prospect of slowing growth, the continued impact of supply chain troubles, and the Federal Reserve's shift to interest-rate hikes this year.

But Wood has defended her firm's stock picks, saying she expects a sharp rebound. Her recent advice to investors was to avoid making emotional investments, and improve performance by averaging down.

"It doesn't feel good maybe as you're doing it, but you would be shocked how little it takes if you're consistent and you just keep averaging down," she said.


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