Health Care Stocks Top Hedge Fund Buys in S&P Capital IQ® Quarterly Hedge Fund Tracker

Research also Spotlights ETFs That Mirror Hedge Fund Strategies

May 20, 2015 / 11:00 AM
New York, NY

New York, NY – May 20, 2015 -- S&P Capital IQ®, a leading provider of multi-asset class research data and insights, today released its review of  Q1 2015 13F filings by pure play hedge funds.  The quarterly S&P Capital IQ Hedge Fund Tracker is an aggregate analysis of hedge fund stock ownership that spotlights hedge fund investments in specific stocks and sectors.   As a complement to the quarterly report, S&P Capital IQ also produced a Trends & Ideas research note which calls out ETFs that give investors exposure to hedge fund buying and selling trends.

The Q1 Hedge Fund Tracker analysis finds that the health care sector has driven the lion’s share of buying among the largest pure play hedge fund managers, with net buys of $4.8 billion in the quarter.  The largest single stock purchase and the largest sell was Valeant, with $3.7 billion in overall buys and $1.4 billion in sells in the first quarter.  This was the first time in eight quarters of running the research that a single company was simultaneously the top buy and top sell among hedge funds. 

“The Q1 Hedge Fund Tracker results provide some fascinating insight into the trends hedge fund managers are watching most closely, particularly in the health care sector,” said Pavle Sabic, Financial Risk Manager, S&P Capital IQ. “By analyzing SEC filings in this manner, we are giving the marketplace a timely reading on investor sentiment among some of the largest investors in the world.”

Based on these trends among hedge fund managers, S&P Capital IQ also produced a Trends & Ideas research note that names specific ETFs that are weighted toward the stocks named in the 2015 Q1 Hedge Fund Tracker.  The research points out that a number of ETFs, including the Global X Guru ETF (GURU 27 Marketweight), the Global X Guru Activist ETF (ACTX15 NR) and the AlphaClone Alternative Alpha (ALFA 46 NR), are accessible investment vehicles through which individual investors can participate in hedge fund trends.

“While it would not be realistic to try to mimic hedge fund strategies, it is possible for individual investors to access the same trends these hedge fund managers are watching through ETFs,” said Todd Rosenbluth, S&P Capital IQ Director of ETF Research.  “The allure of following a ‘smart money’ strategy is not lost on ETF managers who have created many options for tracking hedge fund-like strategies.”

Following is a summary of findings in the Q1 2015 Hedge Fund Tracker and the Trends & Ideas ETF research note:

  • Healthcare Winning, Energy Staying Alive, Info Tech Bringing Up the Rear: Hedge funds flocked to health care stocks in Q1, racking up net buys of $4.8 billion. Industrials followed with $1.5 billion in buying and energy – despite the oil price slump – was the third largest buy with $1.1 billion. Information technology saw the highest volume of selling with $1.2 billion in net sells for the quarter.
  • Valeant – Biggest Buy and Biggest Sell: Valeant Pharmaceuticals (TSX:VRX) was the biggest buy for the hedge funds with $3.7 billion in net buys.  It was simultaneously the biggest sell with $1.4 billion in sells. Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Management was the front runner in the Valeant share buying, with over 19 million shares bought during the quarter. 
  • Actavis in the Spotlight : Hedge fund managers bought Actavis (NYSE:ACT) with impressive conviction in Q1, with 2 out of the 10 hedge funds establishing new positions in the company, helping to make it this quarter’s second  top overall buy ($2.6 billion).
  • Alibaba and Dollar General Among Most Sold Stocks:  The top two sold out positions among hedge fund managers were Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and Dollar General (NYSE:DG) with $1.1 billion and $900 million in net sales, respectively.
  • ETFs that Mirror Top Hedge Fund Trends: A number of ETFs, such as those from Global X, AlphaClone and IndexIQ provide exposure to many of the trends noted in the Q1 Hedge Fund Tracker report.


S&P Capital IQ analyzes the latest quarterly 13F filings to determine the top ten largest hedge funds based on reported equity assets. Further analysis isolates the universe to pure-play hedge funds that focus on stock picks and hones that universe further to isolate the hedge funds that overweight their biggest bets by capping the number of stocks held at 100.  S&P Capital IQ performs this research quarterly in order to understand what the most prominent hedge funds are buying, holding and selling.  The firm develops the analysis through an examination of both industry filings as well as Excel-based holding models, allowing clients to quickly spot global trends in asset category and understand what some of the largest investors buying, selling and holding.



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Form 13F Reports are required to be filed within 45 days of the end of a calendar quarter by institutional investment managers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  An institutional investment manager is an entity that  invests in, buys or sells securities for its own account, or a natural person or entity that exercises investment discretion over the account of any other natural person or entity. Only securities on the 13F list provided quarterly by the SEC (13F Securities) are required to be included in Form 13F Reports. Therefore, Form 13F Reports may not reflect the most current holdings of institutional investment managers because it is required that the 13F Report include only 13F Securities, is filed on a lag, and some funds may not meet the filing thresholds or other requirements. In addition, because the 13F Reports are as of the last date of the quarter, the 13F Report may not describe intra-quarter activity.

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