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Why Microsoft (MSFT), Axiall (AXLL), Sony (SNE), Seagate & Energous Are Surging Today

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The markets continue to recuperate on Friday, as all major U.S stock indexes gained about 1.5%. Among the stocks driving these surges are Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Axiall Corp (NYSE:AXLL), Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX), and Energous Corp (NASDAQ:WATT), all of which were trading up in afternoon trading. Let’s take a look at the events behind said surges, and at what the hedge funds in our database think about the companies in question.

At Insider Monkey, we track around 730 hedge funds and institutional investors. Through extensive backtests, we have determined that imitating some of the stocks that these investors are collectively bullish on can help retail investors generate double digits of alpha per year. The key is to focus on the small-cap picks of these funds, which are usually less followed by the broader market and allow for larger price inefficiencies (see more details about our small-cap strategy).

Back to Friday’s gainers, we’ve got Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which is trading up by almost 5.75% following its earnings call. After the market closed on Thursday, the tech behemoth reported earnings of $0.78 per share, $0.09 above the Street’s consensus estimate, on sales of $25.69 billion, which also beat expectations of $25.11 billion in revenue. The company attributed the strong results to robust sales of cloud software products.

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is quite a popular company among the funds we keep track of. As of the end of the third quarter, 113 funds in our database were long the stock. One of the biggest positions was the one held by Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management. After increasing its holding by 1% over the fourth quarter of 2015, the firm held 18.2 million shares, worth more than $1 billion.

Next up is Axiall Corp (NYSE:AXLL), up by more than 83% today. The spike was triggered by news that Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) has made a hostile takeover offer to buy the company for roughly $2.9 billion in cash and stock, or $20 per share. However, Westlake said that Axiall’s Board “summarily rejected” the proposal. The stock is currently trading around $18.

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And it seems like it is not only Westlake that likes Axiall Corp (NYSE:AXLL). Among the funds that we track, 30 disclosed long stakes in the company as of the end of the third quarter. In fact, these 30 firms own almost 25% of the company’s outstanding stock.

On the next page, will take a look into the news driving the surges in the shares of Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX), and Energous Corp (NASDAQ:WATT).

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