Seeking Alpha
Value, growth, long-term horizon, medium-term horizon
Profile| Send Message|
( followers)  

For a look at which stocks the "smart money" is buying, one great source is institutional buying trends. Institutional investors, such as hedge fund managers and mutual fund managers, report their purchases on a regular basis, and this is helpful information to those looking for interesting stock ideas.

We ran a screen on large-cap companies, with market caps above $10 billion, for those with the most significant net institutional purchases over the current quarter.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.‬

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.

Do you think these stocks will outperform like hedge funds expect? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

List sorted by net institutional purchases as a percent of share float.

1. NTT DOCOMO, Inc. (NYSE:DCM): Provides wireless telecommunications services, packet communications services, and satellite mobile communications services in Japan. Market cap of $78.0B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 1.8M, which is 23.62% of the company's 7.62M share float. The stock has gained 0.85% over the last year.

2. Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS): Develops, and operates various integrated resort properties primarily in the United States, Macau, and Singapore. Market cap of $32.07B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 37.3M, which is 9.76% of the company's 382.10M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 6.94% over the last week.

3. Express Scripts Inc. (NASDAQ:ESRX): Provides a range of pharmacy benefit management services in North America. Market cap of $24.99B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 43.4M, which is 8.99% of the company's 482.82M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 16.85% (equivalent to 12.02 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 18.42%.

4. Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL): Develops and markets products and services for the hospitality, foodservice, healthcare, and industrial markets primarily in the United States. Market cap of $14.05B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 18.3M, which is 8.69% of the company's 210.57M share float. The stock has had a good month, gaining 11.8%.

5. Avalonbay Communities Inc. (NYSE:AVB): Engages in the development, redevelopment, acquisition, ownership, and operation of multifamily communities in the United States. Market cap of $12.17B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 8.0M, which is 8.49% of the company's 94.23M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 8.71% (equivalent to 10.3 days of average volume). The stock has gained 16.29% over the last year.

6. YPF S.A. (NYSE:YPF): Engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas in Argentina. Market cap of $14.95B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 5.2M, which is 8.12% of the company's 64.06M share float. The stock has had a good month, gaining 14.63%.

7. Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF): Operates as the bank holding company for the Capital One Bank, National Association and Capital One, National Association, which provide various financial products and services in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Market cap of $22.58B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 33.9M, which is 7.50% of the company's 451.82M share float. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.67, and P/FCF ratio at 4.06. The stock has had a good month, gaining 14.1%.

8. VimpelCom Ltd. (NASDAQ:VIP): Operates as an integrated telecommunications services provider, offering voice and data services through a range of wireless, fixed, and broadband technologies. Market cap of $13.79B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 18.8M, which is 6.57% of the company's 286.26M share float. The stock has had a good month, gaining 11.59%.

9. Williams Companies, Inc. (NYSE:WMB): Engages in finding, producing, gathering, processing, and transporting natural gas primarily in the United States. Market cap of $17.12B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 35.1M, which is 5.98% of the company's 587.29M share float. Exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 5.94% above its SMA20, 10.79% above its SMA50, and 20.3% above its SMA200. The stock has had a good month, gaining 17.33%.

10. HCP, Inc. (NYSE:HCP): An independent hybrid real estate investment trust. Market cap of $17.01B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 24.0M, which is 5.92% of the company's 405.23M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 5.03% (equivalent to 6.42 days of average volume). The stock has gained 21.08% over the last year.

11. Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM): Engages in the ownership and operation of natural and organic food supermarkets. Market cap of $13.98B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 8.5M, which is 5.18% of the company's 163.98M share float. Exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 8.7% above its SMA20, 12.65% above its SMA50, and 19.33% above its SMA200. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.35% over the last week.

12. The Mosaic Company (NYSE:MOS): Engages in the production and marketing of concentrated phosphate- and potash-based crop nutrients for the agriculture industry worldwide. Market cap of $23.04B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 20.8M, which is 4.90% of the company's 424.90M share float. The stock has had a good month, gaining 14.43%.

13. Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE:SLW): Operates as a silver streaming company worldwide. Market cap of $11.05B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 17.3M, which is 4.90% of the company's 352.72M share float. The stock has had a good month, gaining 10.31%.

14. Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao (NYSE:CBD): Operates as a retailer of food products, clothing, home appliances, and other products through its chain of hypermarkets, supermarkets, specialized and department stores, convenience stores, and the Internet in Brazil. Market cap of $10.28B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 4.4M, which is 4.70% of the company's 93.54M share float. The stock has had a good month, gaining 13.77%.

15. Health Care REIT, Inc. (NYSE:HCN): Engages in investment, development, and management of properties. Market cap of $10.67B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 8.2M, which is 4.61% of the company's 178.01M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 5.86% (equivalent to 5.23 days of average volume). The stock has gained 24.02% over the last year.

16. Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (NYSE:CP): Provides rail and intermodal freight transportation services. Market cap of $12.06B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 6.4M, which is 4.41% of the company's 145.17M share float. Exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 8.34% above its SMA20, 14.74% above its SMA50, and 21.23% above its SMA200. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.01% over the last week.

17. Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI): Publishes online, personal computer, console, handheld, and mobile games of interactive entertainment worldwide. Market cap of $13.97B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 19.7M, which is 4.35% of the company's 453.28M share float. The stock has gained 6.08% over the last year.

18. The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX): Provides alternative asset management and financial advisory services worldwide. Market cap of $17.36B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 15.6M, which is 4.33% of the company's 360.33M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.31). The stock has gained 5.6% over the last year.

19. Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ:WYNN): Engages in the development, ownership, and operation of destination casino resorts. Market cap of $14.60B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 3.3M, which is 4.20% of the company's 78.52M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.41). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 8.63% over the last week.

20. Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE:NLY): Engages in the ownership, management, and financing of a portfolio of investment securities. Market cap of $15.77B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 38.8M, which is 4.02% of the company's 965.44M share float. The stock has gained 4.84% over the last year.

*Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 20 Large Cap Stocks Hedge Funds Want Most