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5 Best S&P 500 Stocks According to Billionaire Ken Griffin

Ken Griffin ranks tenth in our list of most successful investors in the world, based on their net worth. He founded Citadel Investment Group in 1990. The fund  posted double-digit returns over the last year when most of the other funds did not do well. We picked the top five large-cap stock positions from Citadel’s 13F portfolio and compared their performances with the S&P 500 for a period between 1999 to 2012. Ken Griffin’s equity portfolio was up 0.58% on average each month,  versus a 0.32% return registered by the S&P 500. Citadel Investment Group thus out-performed the index by 42 basis points per month, or 5.04% per year. Let us analyze some of the large cap stock picks of Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group to help recreate the same alpha.

We follow over 700 hedge funds and other institutional investors and by analyzing their quarterly 13F filings, we identify stocks that they are collectively bullish on and develop investment strategies based on this data. One strategy that outperformed the market over the last year involves selecting the 100 best-performing funds and identifying the 30 mid-cap stocks that they are collectively the most bullish on. Over the past year, this strategy generated returns of 18%, topping the 8% gain registered by S&P 500 ETFs.

CITADEL INVESTMENT GROUP

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) represented the largest stock holding in Citadel Investment Group’s equity portfolio at the end of September. The fund initiated a new position, which contained 635,345 class A shares worth $510 million at the end of September. Other funds with substantial stakes in Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) included Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global and Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management. The stock is up by 4.8% year to date and is trading close to its 52-week high of $839. For its last quarter, the company posted earnings of $9.06 per share, on revenue of $22.45 billion, versus consensus estimates of EPS of $8.63 on revenue of $22.05 billion. A total of 137 funds held $14.78 billion worth of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s shares at the end of September, compared to 135 funds owning $11.55 billion worth of stock a quarter earlier.

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Citadel Investment Group bought 864,491 shares of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) during the third quarter and held 7.33 million shares worth $486 million at the end of September. Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management also disclosed ownership of 12.46 million shares worth $826 million. The stock has gained 13.7% over the last six months, sports a dividend yield of 1.55% and is trading at around 20.8 times earnings. The global media and technology company reported an earnings of $0.92 per share in the last quarter beating analyst estimates of $0.91 per share. Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has an estimated growth rate of 12.66% per year over the next five years. According to our records, the number of funds long Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) declined to 83 from 88 during the third quarter.

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Broadcom Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO) amassed 0.48% of Citadel’s portfolio at the end of September, with the fund having disclosed a $482 million stake that contained 2.79 million shares, down by 265,601 shares over the quarter. Stephen Mandel’s Lone Pine Capital initiated a new position and held 2.6 million shares worth $449 million at the end of the third quarter. The stock has advanced by more than 8% over the last   month and has an average ‘Buy’ rating among analysts covering it. It also has a dividend yield of 2.24%. The semiconductor solutions provider reported fiscal fourth-quarter revenue of $4.14 billion beating estimates of $4.12 billion. While the number of funds from our database bullish on Broadcom Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO) increased by two to 76, the total value of their holdings declined to $8.26 billion from $8.33 billion during the third quarter.

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Citadel Investment Group held 525,690 shares of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) worth $440 million at the end of September. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) was the top holding of Viking Global, which amassed 2.9 million shares worth $2.45 billion. The largest online e-commerce player with a market cap value of $368 billion operates in many business segments. It recently announced the expansion of its Prime Instant Video service to more than 200 markets. The stock has returned more than 16% over the last year and should perform following the holiday season. At the end of the third quarter, 150 funds owned shares of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), making it the most popular stock among the funds that we track, compared to 145 funds a quarter earlier.

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Citadel Investment Group cut its stake in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) by 34% to 3.0 million shares worth $385 million during the third quarter. Another fund bullish on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is Viking Global which disclosed a $2.4 billion as of the end of September. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s shares have declined by 8% over the last three months and are currently trading at around 46 times earnings Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) ranked as the second most popular stock among the funds in our database with 149 investos holding shares at the end of September, up by one over the quarter.

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Disclosure: None