Walgreen Company (WAG), llumina Inc. (ILMN), Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX): Billionaire Andreas Halvorsen’s Top Stock Picks

Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global recently disclosed its long equity positions for the second quarter of 2014. The fund declared holdings worth more than $22.9 billion. In this article I would like to take a look at his top three stakes in order to elucidate if any of them deserve further research and could be considered as attractive investments. These companies are: Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG), Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) and llumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN).

Same as in the first quarter of the year, Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) occupied the first spot in Mr. Halvorsen’s equity portfolio. The $59.3 billion market cap drugstore operator saw the fund trim its stake by 17% over the second quarter; however, it kept the front-runner position, coming in very close to Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX). Viking Global disclosed ownership of 20.13 million shares, worth roughly $1.49 billion.

Andreas Halvorsen

This stake makes of Viking Global the largest hedge fund shareholder of record at Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), trailed by Barry Rosenstein’s Jana Partners, which acknowledged holding 11.1 million shares of the company.

Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) was displaced from the second spot, which is now occupied by Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), a $37.95 billion market cap specialty pharmaceutical and medical devices company. Over the second quarter, the fund boosted its exposure to the company by 28%, and now owns more than 11.83 million shares, worth approximately $1.49 million –but slightly less than the stake at Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG).

There is, however, one fund that seems even more bullish about Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX). Jeffrey Ubben’s Valueact Capital has more than 17% of its total equity portfolio placed in this company. Its 18.92 million shares stake is worth $2.38 billion, and makes it the largest hedge fund shareholder of record -amongst those we track, followed by Viking Global.

Last in this list is llumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN), which also kept its position in relation to the previous quarter, despite a 10% diminution in Mr. Halvorsen’s stake. The fund’s 7.99 million shares, worth –also- about $1.42 billion, account for 6.22% of its total equity portfolio.

Other major hedge funds betting on llumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) –although their stakes are considerably smaller than Viking Global’s- are Samuel Isaly’s Orbimed Advisors and Sean Cullinan’s Point State Capital. Both these funds upped their bets on the company over the second quarter, and now own more than 1.3 million shares each.

Viking Global is a New York-based hedge fund managed by one of the most successful Tiger cubs, Norwegian Ole Andreas Halvorsen. The fund follows a bottom-up stock picking approach, and invests primarily on healthcare stocks (about 29% of its equity portfolio). The fund also seems to like information technology (17%) and consumer discretionary (17%) stocks.

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no position in any stocks or funds mentioned

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