A review of third quarter pure play hedge funds’ 13F filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that the top funds managed some $167 billion in equity holdings, up $13 billion from the second quarter, S&P Global Market Intelligence, a multi-asset class data provider, reported Monday.
The total number of equity positions held also increased to 463, up from 423 in the April-to-June period, as hedge funds bought big in the financials, energy and healthcare sectors, according to the report.
“While the macroeconomic and geopolitical tea leaves have been incredibly challenging to read this year, pure-play hedge funds seem to agree that there is some upside to be had in the equity markets,” Pavle Sabic, head of market development at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said in a statement. “Total equity positions and total equity assets under management have increased in the third quarter at a pace we haven’t seen since 2015, suggesting a healthy appetite for stocks in the financials, energy, and healthcare sectors.”
The analysis showed that hedge funds bought $2.2 billion in financial sector stocks, $1.8 billion in energy sector stocks and $1.7 billion in healthcare sector stocks in the third quarter.
In addition, the materials, information technology, consumer discretionary and consumer staples sectors also experienced net buying among big large hedge funds. The consumer discretionary sector had the highest weighting in hedge fund equity portfolios with 20%.
Hedge funds continued to be underweight in the utilities and telecoms sectors with stocks from those sectors accounting for less than 1% of total portfolio weighting through the third quarter, according to the analysis.
The report said Microsoft (MSFT) and Symantec Corp. (SYMC) were the two most-sold stocks of the quarter, $1.2 billion and $944 million respectively.
S&P Global Market Intelligence analyzes the latest quarterly 13F filings, which institutional investment managers are required to file with the SEC within 45 days of the end of a calendar quarter, to determine the top 10 largest hedge funds based on reported equity assets.
Following are the top 10 funds, with the amount of their equity assets and number of stocks held:
- Lone Pine Capital, $23.2 billion in 32 stocks
- Icahn Capital, $22.1 billion in 19 stocks
- Elliott Management Corp., $18.9 billion in 69 stocks
- Glenview Capital Management, $17.4 billion in 56 stocks
- Viking Global Investors, $17.3 billion in 61 stocks
- Tiger Global Management, $15 billion in 48 stocks
- Gardner Russo & Gardner, $14.1 billion in 98 stocks
- Coatue Management, $13.1 billion in 45 stocks
- ValueAct Capital Management, $12.5 billion in 15 stocks
- Soroban Capital Partners, $12.4 billion in 20 stocks