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Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ), Apple Inc. (AAPL): Marque Millennium Keeps Focus on Tech and Consumer Heading Into Q2

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Marque Millennium Capital is a New York-based hedge fund founded by Wilfred Meckel. The fund uses a long strategy with a focus on larger-cap US equities and has around $254 million in its equity portfolio as of the end of March. Marque’s portfolio is diversified across sectors, with technology, finance, healthcare and consumer amassing the largest positions and collectively representing nearly 70% of the total portfolio value. The same trend can be observed by looking at the fund’s top five picks: Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ), Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX), Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC).

Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ)

Marque Millennium is one of more than 700 hedge funds that we track as part of our small-cap strategy. Through backtests we determined that a portfolio consisting of the 15 most-popular small-cap stocks among hedge funds outperformed the market by an average of 95 basis points per month and generated a double-digit annual alpha. Moreover, since we launched the strategy in August 2012, this system managed to post gains of over 137%, outperforming the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by over 80 percentage points during the same period (read more details here). On the other hand, a portfolio that consisted of the 50 most popular stocks, including mid-, large- and mega-cap companies underperformed the market by an average of 7 basis points per month.

Let’s take a closer look at Marque Millennium’s top picks. On the first spot is Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ), in which the investor owns some 103,600 shares, valued at $12.03 million. While the stake remained unchanged, the position climbed one spot as Constellation Brands’ stock gained more than 18% during the first quarter. Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) is an international alcohol beverage company with a portfolio of brands and products that are among the leaders in terms of sales in their markets. Recently the company has announced its first dividend payment to shareholders of $0.31 per share, payable on May 22, which gives it a yield of 1.06%. Michael Lowenstein’s Kensico Capital, Boykin Curry’s Eagle Capital Management, and Christian Leone’s Luxor Capital Group are also among Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ)’s shareholders.

Next in line is Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX), one of Mr. Meckel’s picks from the finance sector. Marque Millennium disclosed an $11.21 million position in the company that contains 288,100 shares, also unchanged over the quarter, but the previous value of the stake amounted to $9.75 million. Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX) is a $40 billion alternative asset management company, whose stock climbed more than 38% in the last 52 weeks. Amid that stock growth, the company has seen several big insider transactions in the last couple of months. The latest involves Blackstone’s Chief Legal Officer, who earlier this week sold 12,000 shares at $42.18 apiece, holding around 29,900 shares following the transaction. Among the funds we track, Robert Joseph Caruso’s Select Equity Group and John W. Rogers‘ Ariel Investments held long positions in Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX) as of the end of 2014 and many other investors disclosed stakes in options underlying the company’s shares.

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