Amazon and eBay were at odds again during the third quarter with the former attracting the most purchases among hedge funds and the latter being the most popular sold stock among funds. Also the Consumer Staples sector attracted the most buys among hedge funds, while activist investor Carl Icahn’s fund leads the list of the biggest hedge funds during the quarter.
Amazon, Teva the most popular buys among hedge fund industry
S&P Capital IQ has just released its latest report on the top hedge fund holdings during the third quarter based on analysis of funds’ quarterly 13F filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm tracked changes in hedge fund portfolios between the second and third quarters. Based on the analysis of its compiled data, the firm reports that hedge funds snapped up $2.583 billion worth of shares of the e-commerce giant during the third quarter. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries was in second place but significantly behind Amazon in terms of purchases.
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Amazon also took the top spot for the most increases in positions among hedge funds, and Teva again took second place in the most increases.
Amazon landed in fifth place among the top new hedge fund positions during the third quarter.
S&P Capital IQ said eBay saw a $1.6 billion decline in overall sells during the third quarter among hedge funds, including both decreases in positions and full exits. You may remember that eBay completed the spinoff of PayPal this year, and as you can see from the graph above, PayPal was the second most-purchased new position among hedge funds during the third quarter, indicating a mass exodus from its former parent company and into the spun-off PayPal.
eBay didn’t manage to make the top five list in the number of decreases in existing positions, possibly because it led the list of the top five sold out positions. Microsoft, Priceline and MasterCard were also heavily sold by hedge funds during the quarter.
Consumer Staples attracts hedge funds
Broadening the scope a bit, S&P Capital reports that hedge funds were grabbling up shares of companies in the Consumer Staples sector more than any other sector. Funds purchased $3.69 billion worth of shares in the sector, followed by Industrials. Information Technology and Financials proved to be very unpopular during the quarter.
Going by portfolio, the firm reports that the Consumer Discretionary is the most popular sector in hedge fund portfolios, followed by Healthcare and Information Technology, interestingly enough.
Carl Icahn leads in hedge fund industry according to stock ownership
S&P Capital also analyzed the size of the hedge funds of which it examined their holdings and found that Carl Icahn’s fund leads the way with 27 stocks and a total of $29.4 billion. Viking Global was in a relatively close second on the list, while activist firms ValueAct Capital and Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management were further down the list, although they did make the top ten:
The firm explained that it considers the top ten hedge fund firms in its list to all be “pure-play” funds, adding that these funds focus stock picks and have fewer than 100 positions.
All charts and graphs in this article are courtesy S&P Capital IQ.