Our database of 13F filings allows us to track the long equity positions of hedge funds and other notable investors when these filings occur about seven weeks after the end of each quarter. We can not only look at a specific manager and see what he or she is thinking, but also identify broader trends among hedge funds. For example, we can process the filings and rank the ten most popular stocks among hedge funds (see our rankings for the second quarter). Here are the ten stocks which the largest number of investors in our database reported a long position in at the end of September:
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). No surprise here: once again, Apple was the most popular stock among hedge funds. 146 investors reported a position, down only slightly from 147 last quarter. Highbridge Capital Management, managed by billionaire Glenn Dubin, had owned a fairly small position in Apple at the beginning of July but had increased it to about 120,000 shares by the end of September (see Glenn Dubin's stock picks). Billionaire Dan Loeb’s Third Point also bought shares during the quarter (find more stocks that Third Point bought).
- Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). Google gained on Apple- 132 funds and other investors owned Google at the end of the quarter, up from 118 three months earlier- but it wasn’t quite enough to reach the top slot. Platinum Asset Management, an Australian fund managed by billionaire Kerr Nielson, increased its holdings of Google to 300,000 shares by the end of the quarter (see Kerr Nielson's top holdings). Tiger Global Management, which is managed by billionaire Chase Coleman and his investment team, also added shares. Find more stocks that Tiger Global liked.
- American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG). Talk about a hot stock: about 50 different investors in our database initiated a position in AIG during the third quarter of the year, with a total of 110 hedge funds holding it in their portfolio. This not only got AIG into the top ten list, but made it the third most popular stock. Billionaire Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors increased its stake in AIG by 75%, making it Omega’s largest holding (see more of Cooperman's largest holdings); AIG is also George Soros’s largest long equity position after he bought shares as well. Check out George Soros's portfolio.
- Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). AIG’s rise contributed to Microsoft’s fall from the #3 spot. A small number of hedge funds also sold out of Microsoft, reducing its ownership below 100 filers in our database to 96. Bridgewater Associates’ position in Microsoft was its largest long position for a company at the end of September; the large and successful hedge fund is managed by billionaire Ray Dalio (see more stocks that billionaire Ray Dalio likes).