We think that there are a number of ways for investors to use quarterly 13F filings, which are filed six to seven weeks after the end of a quarter and disclose many of a hedge fund (or other major investor)’s long equity positions as of the end of the quarter. For example, we have found that the most popular small cap stocks among hedge funds produce an excess return of 18 percentage points per year (read more about our small cap strategy). We can also determine the most popular stocks in total or in different sectors or industries by counting how many filers in our database reported a position in each company. Here are the ten most popular consumer services stocks among hedge funds:
The most popular services stock was News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA), as many hedge funds likely were attracted to the opportunities inherent in breaking up the company and allowing management to concentrate on operations. 67 funds reported a position in News Corp, including Tiger Cub Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global which owned over 34 million shares (research more stocks Halvorsen was buying).
58 filers in our database owned shares of online retailer Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), down slightly from three months earlier as the company continued to struggle with profitability. Tiger Global, which counts billionaire Chase Coleman among its fund managers, more than doubled the size of its Amazon position to a total of 1.2 million shares (find Tiger Global's favorite stocks).
Home and business security spinout ADT Corp (NYSE:ADT) was another popular services stock, with 57 hedge funds and other notable investors owning the former business unit of Tyco International. Citadel Investment Group, which is managed by billionaire Ken Griffin, was one of the funds buying into the spinout early (check out what else Griffin was buying).
We counted 55 filers in our database with positions in Liberty Media Corp (NASDAQ:LMCA), the $17 billion market cap provider of broadband, telephone, and TV services. Warren Buffett apparently likes the stock, with his holding company Berkshire Hathaway adding shares and closing December with 5.6 million shares in its portfolio (see Buffett's stock picks).
Ownership of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) ticked up slightly to a total of 54 funds, making the big-box retailer another popular consumer stock. It was recently leaked that Wal-Mart was off to a poor start of the year in 2013. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation owned a little over 11 million shares at the end of December. Research what else the foundation is invested in.
Read on for more consumer services stocks that hedge funds loved: