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Hedge fund managers may not be the final word on investment decisions, and investors should always do their own research, but hedge funds’ top stock picks are still a good source for investment ideas. And, when you see several hedge fund managers all buying the same things at the same time, it is generally a good investment. Below is our selection of stocks that hedge funds have been initiating new positions or adding to their existing positions during the third quarter.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was popular with several hedge fund managers in the third quarter. Leon Cooperman initiated a new position in the company of 1.36 million shares, while both George Soros and Donald Yacktman increased their positions in the applications software company.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) was a favorite pick for George Soros in the third quarter. He initiated a small holding of 1126 shares, and he wasn’t the only hedge fund manager buying. Julian Robertson, John Griffin and Jean-Marie Eveillard each increased their holdings in GOOG in the third quarter.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) was on the list for both Mason Hawkins and Ray Dalio. Hawkins upped his position in the company by 29%, while Dalio nearly tripled his stake in the children’s entertainment company.

Tyco International (NYSE:TYC) was a new position for George Soros and Lee Ainslie during the third quarter, with Soros opening a small 6,000-share position in the diversified machinery company and Ainslie coming in at 2.8 million shares. Jean-Marie Eveillard was keen on TYC in the third quarter as well. He upped his position by 56.34%.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC), the aerospace and defense company, was on the radar for several big hedge fund managers in the third quarter. Joel Greenblatt, Jean-Marie Eveillard and Ray Dalio each increased their positions in the company by 156%, 49% and 116%, respectively.

Sara Lee Corp (SLE) was a top pick for George Soros and Dan Loeb in the third quarter. Soros initiated a new position in the company of 539,600 shares, while Daniel Loeb upped his stake in the company by 2.26% to 6.8 million shares.

HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA), a hospitals company, was a popular choice for George Soros and Lee Ainslie. Soros increased his holding in the company by 24.43%, while Ainslie upped his by almost 33%.

TD Ameritrade (NYSE:AMTD) was new position for Ray Dalio in the third quarter. The popular fund manager opened a 170,013 share position in the company. George Soros also got in on the action. He increased his stake in AMTD by more than 800%.

Research in Motion (RIMM) may have had issues recently with its popular BlackBerry platform, but it still attracted the attention of fund managers Donald Yacktman and Leon Cooperman. Cooperman initiated a new position in the company of 1.4 million shares, while Yacktman brought his holdings in RIMM to over 3.4 million shares.

Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) is an Internet information provider. The company attracted the attention of both Joel Greenblatt and Ray Dalio in the third quarter. Greenblatt opened a new position of 29,568 shares, while Dalio was slightly more bullish on AKAM, initiating a position of 41,553 shares.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the most popular stock among hedge funds for the past 6 months, and its popularity increased considerably during the third quarter. Andreas Halvorsen, Ken Heebner, Brookside Capital, Cavalry Asset Management, Eminence Capital, Ascend Capital, Criterion Capital and several other hedge funds initiated brand new positions in Apple. Billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin's long Apple bets totaled more than $3 billion dollars, more than doubling his long positions.

AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) is a CATV systems company. Both John Paulson and George Soros bought new positions in the company during the third quarter. Soros bought 10,600 shares, while John Paulson took a more aggressive stance, purchasing 5 million shares.

Source: 12 Stocks Hedge Fund Managers Are Bullish About