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Healthcare is a big deal in the investment world. Everyone gets sick or needs care at some point, especially as people live longer – so, why not cash in? Granted the market can be a minefield to navigate but looking to hedge fund managers can provide some guidance. These people have dozens of analysts at their disposal, so researching stocks or an entire industry is a lot easier for them than do-it-yourself investors. Plus, they have to report their portfolios quarterly.

Here is a list of healthcare stocks that hedge fund managers are crazy about:

Express Scripts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESRX): Of the 300+ hedge funds we track, 49 had positions in ESRX at the end of the third quarter, compared to just 41 at the end of the second quarter. Total hedge fund investment in the company moved from $1.99 billion at the end of June to $2.25 billion at the end of September. In the third quarter, Stephen Mandel’s Lone Pine Capital increased its position by +67%, bringing its stake to a total value of $498.36 million.

Wellpoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP): The number of hedge funds invested in WLP fell from 56 at the end of the second quarter to 45 at the end of the third quarter. The total volume of hedge fund investment also decreased, moving from $2.58 billion at the end of June to $2.03 billion at the end of September. Hedge fund investment in WLP may have faltered in the third quarter but the fund managers with the largest positions were not swayed. Jean-Marie Eveillard’s First Eagle Investment Management increased its stake by 4% in the third quarter to end September with a stake in WLP worth $223.12 million.

UnitedHealth Group, Inc. (NYSE:UNH): Hedge fund investment in UNH also decreased in the third quarter, moving from 52 hedge funds invested in the company at the end of the second quarter to 43 at the end of the third quarter. The total volume of hedge fund investment in UNH fell from $2.76 billion to $2.20 billion. However, like WLP, the funds with the largest investments in the company didn’t sell out or reduce their positions – they increased their holdings. For instance, of the funds we track, Boykin Curry’s Eagle Capital Management had $352.12 million invested in the company at the end of the third quarter after upping its stake by +3%.

Cigna Corp (NYSE:CI): The number of hedge funds invested in CI did not change from the end of the second quarter to the end of the third – it held at 42 funds invested – but the volume of hedge fund investment did go down, from $1.81 billion at the end of June to $1.46 billion at the end of September. That may not sound too encouraging, but several big hedge funds more than doubled their stakes in the company. Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global upped its stake by +111% while Jeffrey Tannenbaum’s Fir Tree increased its holding in the company by +222% in the third quarter.

Aetna, Inc. (NYSE:AET): Hedge fund interest in AET went down in the third quarter, moving from 42 funds invested at the end of the second quarter to 38 funds invested at the end of the third quarter. The total volume of hedge fund investment in the company also decreased, moving from $1.40 billion to $802.49 million. However, those funds with the largest positions still moved to up their holding in the company. Arthur B. Cohen and Joseph Healey’s Healthcor Management upped its stake in AET by +16% to $181.70 million, while Samuel Isaly’s Orbimed Advisors increased its holding by +186% to $67.37 million.

Humana, Inc. (NYSE:HUM): The total number of hedge funds invested in HUM decreased during the third quarter, moving from 33 funds at the end of June to 29 at the end of September. However, the funds that stayed with the company were notably more bullish. Total hedge fund investment went from $889.64 million at the end of the second quarter to $1.09 billion at the end of the third quarter. Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global upped its stake by +47%, bringing its total stake in HUM to $296.05 million.

Healthspring, Inc. (NYSE:HS-OLD): The number of hedge funds invested in HS did not change from the end of the second quarter, when the number stood at 29, to the end of the third quarter. The volume of that investment however increased significantly, moving from $241.28 million at the end of June to $345.35 million at the end of September. Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global initiated a new $111.69 million position in the company, making it the largest amongst the funds we track, while Columbus Circle Investors upped its holding in HS by +25% to $57.31 million.

Source: Healthcare Stocks Hedge Fund Managers Are Crazy About