12 Most Popular Healthcare Stocks Among Hedge Funds

Insider Monkey follows hedge fund managers because they’re the smartest investors around. They leave less to chance than do most investors. They go to great lengths to get an “edge” over ordinary investors. Hedge fund managers also have the resources to do extensive research on public companies and they have access to experts who can guide them. We believe we are more likely to beat the market by imitating insiders and hedge funds than trading against them.  Based on the transactions of nearly 350 hedge funds compiled by Insider Monkey, we present the list of top 12 healthcare stocks among hedge funds:

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)

1. Pfizer (PFE): A whopping 75 hedge funds had Pfizer in their portfolios last quarter. Hedge funds collectively own 3% of the outstanding shares. The stock returned more than 18% over the last 52 weeks. David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital owns the most, with $483 Million. He’s followed by Fisher Asset Management’s $452 Million, Maverick Capital’s $410 Million, and Appaloosa Management’s $300 Million (see David Tepper’s hot stock picks).

2. Sanofi Aventis (SNY): Sixty-four hedge funds had Sanofi in their portfolios last quarter. Hedge funds collectively own 1.5% of the outstanding shares. The stock returned an incredible 33% over the past 52-weeks. Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management has nearly 15  Million shares of the stock after the second quarter 11% increase.  As of the end of June, the fund had nearly $600 Million in Sanofi Aventis (see Ken Fisher’s top stock picks). Sanofi Aventis has a dividend yield of 5%. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway comes in second with $163 Million.

3. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Fifty-seven hedge funds had (JNJ) in their portfolios last quarter. Hedge funds collectively own 3.1% of the outstanding shares. The stock returned 14% over the past 52-weeks. The New Brunswick-based company is the maker of things like Band-Aids, Tylenol, and other products we use everyday, but don’t really think about it. Johnson & Johnson has one investor in it that will make other shareholders sleep better at night: Warren Buffett (check out Warren Buffett’s top holdings here).

4. WellPoint (WLP): Fifty-five hedge funds had WellPoint in their portfolios last quarter. Hedge funds collectively own 11.6% of the outstanding shares. The stock returned 21% over the past 52 weeks. Owl Creek Asset Management has more shares – at nearly 4 million -  than any other fund we track.

5. UnitedHealth (UNH): Fifty hedge funds had UnitedHealth in their portfolios last quarter. Hedge funds collectively own 5.4% of the outstanding shares. The stock has returned more than 44% over the last 52-weeks. Bill Miller’s Legg Mason reduced its holdings of UNH by 22% in the second quarter. They now have about 3.2 million shares (see Bill Miller’s top stock picks here).

6. Teva (TEVA): Forty-seven hedge funds had Teva in their portfolios last quarter. Hedge funds collectively own 5.5% of the outstanding shares. The stock lost nearly 20% over the most recent 52-weeks. John Paulson’s Paulson & Co has about 4 million shares- that’s down 6% from the first quarter (view John Paulson’s 10 new stock picks).

7. Valeant (VRX): Forty-five hedge funds had Valeant in their portfolios last quarter. Hedge funds collectively own an amazing 25% of the outstanding shares. The stock nearly doubled over the past 52-weeks- returning more than 86%. John Griffin’s Blue Ridge Capital has nearly 10 million shares- that’s the new figure after increasing their holdings 10% in the second quarter.

8. Aetna (AET): Forty-two hedge funds had Aetna in their portfolios last quarter. Hedge funds collectively own 10% of the outstanding shares. The stock returned nearly 38% over the past 52-weeks. Larry Robbins’ Glenview has more than 5 million shares – more than any other hedge fund we track. He decreased the holdings by 19% last quarter.

9. Cigna (CI): Forty-two hedge funds had Cigna in their portfolios last quarter. Hedge funds collectively own 15% of the outstanding shares. The stock returned 34% over the past 52-weeks. Jeffrey Altman’s Owl Creek Asset Management has far and away more of this than any other fund we track, with 8.4 million shares. The fund did decrease its holdings by 19% last quarter.

10. Express Scripts (ESRX): Forty-one hedge funds had Express Scripts in their portfolios last quarter. Hedge funds collectively own 9% of the outstanding shares. The stock edged up by just 1% over the past year. Though Steve Mandel’s Lone Pine Capital reduced its holdings of ESRX by 17% last quarter, they still have far and away the most of the stock than any other fund we track, with more than 8 million shares.

11. Merck (MRK): Forty hedge funds had Merck in their portfolios last quarter. Hedge funds collectively own 1.3% of the outstanding shares. The stock lost 4% over the past year. D.E. Shaw more than doubled its holdings last quarter. They now have 1.8 million shares.

12. Abbott Labs (ABT): Thirty-nine hedge funds had Abbott Labs in their portfolios last quarter. Hedge funds collectively own 2.1% of the outstanding shares. The stock returned about 5% over the past year. Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies clearly sees this as a win, according to their most recent filings. They increased their holdings in ABT by 4374% last quarter, albeit they now own just 912 K shares (Jim Simons).

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