Viking Global Investors is a hedge fund working with pooled investment vehicles on a global level. The company was founded in 1999 by Andreas Halvorsen, an M.B.A. of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut. With an equity portfolio valued at $25.81 billion as of the latest 13F reporting period of March 31, the fund has 27%, 16%, and 11% of its portfolio invested in healthcare, information technology, and finance, respectively. In this article we’ll look at Halvorsen’s top picks heading into the second quarter, which are: Actavis Plc (NYSE:ACT), Illumina Inc (NASDAQ:ILMN), Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA), Cheniere Energy Inc (NYSEMKT:LNG) and Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD).
We track hedge funds and prominent investors because our research has shown that their best stock picks (their small-cap picks) outperformed the market historically. Investors would have outperformed the market by nearly a percentage point per month on average between 1999 and 2012 by simply buying the 15 most popular small-cap stocks among hedge funds, despite the fact that 13F filings are delayed up to a maximum of 45 days (read more details here). We have been tracking the performance of these stock picks in real time since the end of August 2012 when our small-cap strategy went live and the results have been exactly as our research predicted: these stocks have delivered a cumulative return of 139% since then vs. a gain of less than 60% for the S&P 500 ETF (SPY).
Viking Global increased its stake in Actavis Plc (NYSE:ACT) to 6.11 million shares valued at almost $1.82 billion, a 33% increase from the end of the preceding quarter. Actavis Plc (NYSE:ACT) is a global pharmaceutical company with a market cap of $116.07 billion. In March 2015, the Irish “pharmufacturer” completed the acquisition of Allergan, a multi-specialty health care company, and declared itself a “Growth Pharma” company afterwards. The company’s financials for the first quarter of 2015 show that Actavis Plc (NYSE:ACT) recorded a 59% growth to $4.23 billion in revenue, compared to $2.66 billion in the first quarter of the previous year. Other shareholders bullish on Actavis are Joseph A. DiMenna’s Zweig-DiMenna Partners, Daniel S. Och’s OZ Management and Dan Loeb’s Third Point.
Halvorsen’s position in Illumina Inc (NASDAQ:ILMN) amounts to 8.51 million shares valued at $1.58 billion, with the position increased by 2% during the quarter. Illumina is a company engaged in developing, manufacturing and marketing life science tools and integrated systems for large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function. At the end of the first quarter of 2015, the company had $539 million in revenues, which was 28% higher than the $421 million registered in the same quarter of 2014. Other funds with stakes in Illumina Inc (NASDAQ:ILMN) are Stanley Druckenmiller’s Duquesne Capital Management and Stephen Mandel’s Lone Pine Capital.