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Summary

  • 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds are revealed.
  • These stocks historically outperformed the market by an average of 2 percentage points per year.
  • Google is still the most popular tech stock, followed by Microsoft.

By Meena Krishnamsetty and Javier Hasse

Hedge funds are done with disclosing their long equity US portfolios. We have analyzed the equity portfolios of over 640 hedge funds that we track at Insider Monkey and selected the 5 most popular technology stocks at the end of March. Our research shows that most popular small cap stocks outperformed the market by 18 percentage points between 1999 and 2009. In the last 21 months these stocks also managed to beat the S&P 500 by more than 44 percentage points. Historically the most popular large-cap stocks among hedge funds also performed better than the market although the margin was much smaller. In this article we will take a look at the most popular technology stocks.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has been one of hedge funds' favorite for a few years now.

Twenty three percent of hedge funds held long stakes at the tech behemoth at the end of the first quarter of 2014, down from 26% in the previous quarter. Despite this decrease in hedge fund bullishness, the company maintains its front-runner position. The largest hedge fund shareholder is Boykin Curry's Eagle Capital Management, which holds 797K shares valued at roughly $888 million. As stated above, however, investment gurus don't seem to love Google like they used to. During the first quarter, many of the largest investors sold out their stakes in the company. Doug Silverman, John Armitage, and David Greenspan are some of these hedge fund managers.

Trailing Google, with 131 hedge fund shareholders, is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), the $340 billion market cap company responsible for making the software that most of your computers are currently running on. It rose from the third spot in Q4's list, when 120 funds held long positions in the company. Same as in the previous quarter, the big bull is Jeffrey Ubben 's ValueAct Capital, which declared holding 71 million shares, up 7% over Q1. Amongst the newcomers, William B. Gray's Orbis Investment Management seems to be the most bullish, with 7.28 million shares.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was, during 2011 and 2012, the hedge funds' pet, but this is no longer the case. Nonetheless, the technology giant still has a place in this list: the third one. Over the first quarter, hedge fund positions shrank from 160 to 129, down almost 20% in relation to the previous period. While David Einhorn 's Greenlight Capital decreased its position in the company by 17%, and now holds approximately 1.99 million shares (about $1 billion in stock), Carl Icahn, the largest hedge fund shareholder, upped his bet by 59%, to 7.53 million shares.

In the fourth spot is eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), a $64 billion market cap online commerce company that had not made it to this list the previous quarter. Nearly fifteen percent of the hedge funds hold long positions in this stock. Amongst them, we would like to highlight Carl Icahn's stake, started over Q1. His 27.8 million shares are worth more than $1.5 billion.

As you might figure, the last company in this list is Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). The social media monarch kept the number of hedge funds betting on it intact; 100 funds hold its stock. By March 31, 2014, D. E. Shaw was the largest hedge fund shareholder, with approximately 9 million shares, up 52%, when compared to the previous quarter.

Source: Apple, Google, And Microsoft Are Among The 5 Most Popular Tech Stocks Among Hedge Funds