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Navellier & Associates’ Top Five Stock Picks of Q3

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The bull market has resumed its course, thanks to the cheap money mode of the world’s biggest economies. Hence, it seems that now is the opportune time to consider pouring some money into stocks. At the same time, the 13F filings for the third quarter keep flowing, which could pinpoint some great buying opportunities for the upcoming months and years. Having said that, this article will discuss the top five stock picks of Navellier & Associates at the end of the third quarter and their performance during the disappointing three-month period. The investment firm founded by Louis G. Navellier in 1980 undertook a significant re-balancing process in the third quarter, so its top picks might be quite worthwhile for an average investor.  Meanwhile, the market value of its portfolio decreased to $993.17 million from $1.14 billion quarter-over-quarter. The Insider Monkey team has also discussed Louis Navallier’s bets on the technology sector, an ever-changing industry full of opportunities.

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But why do we track hedge fund activity? From one point of view we can argue that hedge funds are consistently underperforming when it comes to net returns over the last three years, when compared to the S&P 500. But that doesn’t mean that we should completely neglect their activity. There are various reasons behind the low hedge fund returns. Our research indicated that hedge funds’ long positions actually beat the market. In our back-tests covering the 1999-2012 period hedge funds’ top small-cap stocks edged the S&P 500 index by double digits annually. The 15 most popular small-cap stock picks among hedge funds also bested passive index funds by around 53 percentage points over the 3 year period beginning from September 2012 (read the details here).

#5 CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS)

Shares Owned by Navellier & Associates (as of September 30): 301,935 shares

Value of Holding (as of September 30): $29.13 million

Drugstore giant CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) retained its spot in the list of five top stock picks of Navellier & Associates even though its shares lost nearly 8% during the third quarter. The investment firm trimmed its position in the company by 46,791 shares during the recent quarter, which might be seen as a premature move considering that the stock has gained more than 8% since the end of September. Just recently, the company opened its 1,000th walk-in medical clinic MinuteClinic, which serves as a reminder of its successful growth over the years. However, a new trend of home drug delivery services might represent a strong threat for the company. Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital Management was the largest shareholder of CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) among the hedge funds tracked by our team at the end of the second quarter with 4.8 million shares.

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#4 Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Shares Owned by Navellier & Associates (as of September 30): 274,145 shares

Value of Holding (as of September 30): $30.24 million

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) represents a new addition to the aforementioned list. Navellier & Associates increased its holdings in the tech giant by 19,969 shares during the third quarter, which accounted for 3.04% of the firm’s portfolio on September 30. The shares of Apple declined almost 12% during the latest quarter and are now slightly over 4% in the red year-to-date. Earlier this week, Apple announced two programs meant to reduce the carbon emissions in China and green its suppliers in the nation. Additionally, the tech giant announced the completion of 40 megawatts solar projects in the Sichuan Province. Thus, these steps might attract some climate-aware investors to pour cash into the stock, but also reduce the criticisms on the company’s “polluter” partners. Carl Icahn of Icahn Capital LP is very bullish on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), owning 52.76 million shares as of June 30.

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