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Hedge Funds Increased Equity Exposure in Q1

The 50 largest hedge funds increased their equity exposure by 5.3% in Q1 2015.

Increased Exposure in the Energy Sector

At the sector level, the 50 largest hedge funds had the largest aggregate holdings in the Information Technology (17.4%) and Consumer Discretionary (16.8%) sectors at the end of the first quarter. During the quarter, the funds added exposure in aggregate in eight of the 10 sectors, with the largest increase in the Energy sector. The only two sectors in which the 50 hedge funds decreased exposure in aggregate were the Utilities and Telecom Services sectors.

Increased in Exposure in the U.S.

On a geographical basis, the 50 largest funds had their largest aggregate holdings in the United States (85.1%) at the end of the first quarter. During the quarter, the funds increased their exposure in 29 countries, with the largest increase in the United States. On the other hand, the 50 largest funds decreased equity exposure in 19 countries, with the largest decreases in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and China.

Top Holding: Apple

Apple remained the largest holding of the aggregate portfolio at the end of the first quarter, comprising 1.8% of all equity holdings. The stock was ranked second on the list of companies with the highest number of hedge funds holding a position in the company (24) at the end of the quarter, trailing only Actavis PLC (28). Apple was the top holding of five of the 50 hedge funds at the end of the first quarter. During the course of the first quarter (January 1 through March 31), the price of the stock rose by 12.7%.

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Download Hedge Fund Quarterly for the full top 50 list

Top Purchases: QUALCOMM and Valeant Pharmaceuticals

QUALCOMM was the top aggregate purchase of the hedge funds during the first quarter. The aggregate market value purchased in this company during the quarter was approximately $2.1 billion. It was the top purchase of one of the 50 hedge funds during the quarter. The company was also the sixteenth largest holding in the aggregate portfolio, comprising 0.5% of all equity holdings. From January 1 to March 31, the price of the stock fell by 6.7%.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International was the second largest aggregate purchase of the hedge funds during the first quarter. The aggregate market value purchased in this company during the quarter was approximately $1.9 billion. It was the top purchase of one of the 50 hedge funds during the quarter. The company was also the second largest holding in the aggregate portfolio at the end of the first quarter, comprising 1.3% of all equity holdings. From January 1 to March 31, the price of the stock rose by 38.8%.

Top Sales: Actavis and Medtronic

On the other hand, Actavis PLC was the largest sale in aggregate for the hedge funds during the first quarter. The market value sold in this company was approximately $3.2 billion. It was the top sale of two of the 50 hedge funds during the quarter. Despite the large aggregate sale, Actavis PLC remained the third largest holding in the aggregate portfolio and the most widely held stock by the 50 hedge funds at the end of Q1. During the quarter, the price of the stock rose by 15.6%. Medtronic PLC was the second largest sale in aggregate for the hedge funds during the first quarter. The market value sold in this company was approximately $3.0 billion. It was the top sale of two of the 50 hedge funds during the quarter. From January 1 to March 31, the price of the stock rose by 15.6%.

Top New Position: Aena SA

In terms of new positions, Aena SA was the top position added in aggregate in terms of market value. The market value purchased in this company during the first quarter was approximately $1.2 billion.

Read more in Hedge Fund Ownership Quarterly

Download the full report for more: including:

Sector-Level and Company-Level Weighting Relative to S&P 500
Top 50 Holdings: Top 50 Hedge Funds
Three-month Largest Holding Value Changes
Country Breakdown: Top 50 Hedge Funds
Sector Breakdown: Top 50 Hedge Funds versus S&P 500
Sector Movement: Top 50 Hdge Funds versus S&P 500
Cap Group Breakdown: Top 50 Hedge Funds

Read more about the ownership trends of hedge funds in this quarter's edition of FactSet Hedge Fund Ownership Quarterly. Visit www.factset.com/hedgefund_ownership to launch the latest report.

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Senior Earnings Analyst
John’s weekly research report, Earnings Insight provides analysis and commentary on trends in corporate earnings data for the S&P 500, including revisions to estimates, year-over-year growth, performance relative to expectations, and valuations. He is a widely used source for the media and has appeared on CNBC, Fox Business News, and the Business News Network. In addition, he has been cited by numerous print and online publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The New York Times, MarketWatch, and Yahoo! Finance.

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