Hedge Funds Stock Up on Consumer Staples in Q1 Binge on Stocks

Hedge Fund 13F data for Q1 from S&P Capital IQ

 

Among the highlights:

  • Top Funds Flock to Consumer Staples: The consumer staples sector was the biggest net buy for the top pure play hedge funds, with $3.4 billion in new purchases made during the quarter. Currently, 15% of top fund equity holdings are concentrated in the sector, up from the previous high of 6% reached in 2013.

 

  • Procter & Gamble Company is Biggest Single Buy: Hedge funds bought 30.3 million shares of Procter & Gamble stock in Q1, for a total investment of $2.7 billion. Other stocks receiving attention from hedge fund buyers were Praxair ($1.4 billion), Marriott ($1.4 billion), Constellation Brands ($859 million), and Formula One Group ($765.3 million).

 

  • Hedge Funds Exit Microsoft, Amazon: The information technology and financial sectors saw the largest volume of hedge fund selling in Q1, with Microsoft ($1.6 billion), Amazon ($1.6 billion), and Autodesk ($912 million). Other significant sell-offs were noted in Safran ($898 million) and Charter Communications ($732 million).

 

  • Increase in Equity AUM: Total equity AUM for hedge funds in the analysis increased to $159 billion in the quarter, $6 billion higher than the $153 billion reported in Q4 2016. The total number of equity positions held increased from 424 in Q4 2016 to 427. Soroban Capital Partners was the most active hedge fund in the equity markets.