Insurance company UnitedHealthcare was the biggest mover among the top 20 stocks owned by institutional investors in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the just-released 4Q 2016 eVestment Institutional Stock Ownership Report. UnitedHealthcare, previously not in the top 20, landed at No. 10 in 4Q as institutional investors appear pleased with the company’s recent results and longer-term prospects in the turbulent U.S. healthcare industry.

UnitedHealthcare UnitedHealth

UnitedHealthcare

Intel also climbed into the top 20, at No. 19. Telecommunications giant AT&T and home improvement chain The Home Depot, at Nos. 19 and 20 respectively in 3Q, fell out of the top 20 in 4Q.

Technology companies Microsoft, Alphabet and Apple, in that order, led the rankings of the top three stocks held by institutional investors in 4Q, as they did in 3Q 2016. A year ago, the rankings looked a bit different, with Apple in the top spot in Q4 2015 and Microsoft and Alphabet in the No. 2 and 3 spots that quarter. Healthcare and consumer products company Johnson & Johnson held the No. 4 spot last quarter, in Q3 2016 and last year in Q4 2015.

eVestment’s report looks at trends in stock ownership among institutional investors based on data reported to eVestment by asset managers who are buying, selling and holding stock on those investors’ behalf and is one of the most comprehensive looks at institutional investor stock ownership trends. And since institutional investors like pension funds, insurance companies, foundations and endowments tend to lead retail investors in their stock buying and selling by six to nine months and control about half the investable assets in the world, the report provides retail investors a unique look into equities strategies among the world’s largest investors.

In addition to ranking the top 20 stocks institutional investors are holding overall, the report highlights ownership and allocation trends among several U.S. and international large-, mid- and small cap equity strategies. The report also looks at some key global stock trends, including in the United Kingdom, Japan and emerging markets.

The report uses eVestment’s Holdings Analysis solution to review stocks bought, sold or held by asset managers working for institutional investors like pension funds, foundations, endowments, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds. The ownership trends and weights are the result of overall market movements and increasing or decreasing investor and asset manager interest in particular stocks, sectors or universes and over time offer a unique look at stocks and universes growing in or falling out of favor with institutional investors.

To download a full copy of the report, please click here.

Article by Mark Scott, eVestment