Hedge Funds Flee Healthcare Stocks in Q3, S&P Global Market Intelligence Quarterly Hedge Fund Tracker Finds

New York - 18 November 2016

Top Funds Sell off Allergan, but Warm to eBay and Expedia

S&P Global Market Intelligence, a leading provider of multi-asset class research data and insights, today released its review of  Q3 2016 13F filings by pure play hedge funds.  The quarterly S&P Global Market Intelligence Hedge Fund Tracker is an aggregate analysis of hedge fund equity ownership that highlights hedge fund investments in specific stocks and sectors.

The latest Hedge Fund Tracker analysis shows the top funds managed approximately $145 billion in equity holdings, down from the $150 billion under management in Q2, and down more than $50 billion from the highs reached in 2015. These funds increased the total number of positions to 424 in Q3 from 399 in Q2, which was a record low for stock positions held since S&P Global Market Intelligence began tracking this data in 2014. Stocks in the healthcare and information technology sectors were the most sold off last quarter.

“The significant sell-off in healthcare stocks this quarter may suggest that hedge funds were expecting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – who campaigned heavily on limiting drug prices and reinforcing healthcare reforms – to win the U.S. presidential election,” said Pavle Sabic, Head of Market Development, S&P Global Market Intelligence. “More broadly, the trend in healthcare is illustrative of a much more concerted move by hedge funds out of equity holdings throughout 2016; it will be instructive to see how that approach evolves in the coming months.”

Following is a summary of findings in the Q3 2016 Hedge Fund Tracker:

  •  Hedge Funds Exit Healthcare: The largest net sector sell-off among the top 10 largest hedge funds was healthcare, with $2.4 billion sold in Q3. The largest single stock sell-off among hedge funds this quarter was Allergan, with $1.5 billion sold by Icahn Capital, Viking Global and Third Point.
  • Equity Holdings Down $50 Billion from Last Year: Eight of the 11 sectors of the S&P 500 were net sells among hedge funds in Q3, with total equity holdings among the largest funds having fallen roughly $50 billion from last year to $145 billion through Q3 2016. 
  • eBay Inc. Emerges as Top Buy: Although information technology was one of the third quarter’s most sold-off sectors, eBay emerged as the largest single stock buy among hedge fund investors. A single fund, Lone Pine Capital, purchased $998 million in eBay stock over the course of the quarter.
  • Five Biggest Buys: Besides eBay, the top funds bought Expedia ($807 million), LyondellBasell Industries ($732 million), Alibaba ($717 million), and Hilton ($620 million).
  • Five Biggest Sells: The five biggest single stock sells among the top 10 hedge funds were Allergan ($1.5 billion), Microsoft Corp ($1.3 billion), Monsanto ($1.1 billion), Broadcom Ltd ($1 billion), The Priceline Group ($760 million)
  • Changing of the Guard in Top 10 Funds: Paulson & Co. and Elliot Management have fallen off the list of top 10 largest pure play hedge funds by equity assets under management.  They were replaced on this quarter’s list by Soroban Capital and Gardner, Russo & Gardner.

S&P Global Market Intelligence analyzes the latest quarterly 13F filings* to determine the top ten largest hedge funds based on reported equity assets. Further analysis isolates the universe to pure-play hedge funds that focus on stock picks and hones that universe further to isolate the hedge funds that overweight their biggest investments by capping the number of stocks held at 100.  S&P Global Market Intelligence performs this research quarterly in order to understand what the most prominent hedge funds are buying, holding and selling.  The firm develops the analysis through an examination of both industry filings as well as Excel-based holding models, allowing clients to quickly spot global trends in asset category and understand what some of the largest investors buying, selling and holding.

S&P Global Market Intelligence also provides rankings on approximately 1,100 equity and fixed income ETFs based on performance, risk and cost factors, including holdings-level analysis and expenses.

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