Apple Inc. (AAPL) Leading in Popularity Among Hedge Funds Heading Into Final Filing Day

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has so far made the biggest move, jumping into a tie for third from ranking in eighth place after the conclusion of the previous filing period. It appears investors may have jumped on the opportunity to enter Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) at a reduced rate following its late January swoon that dropped it to a six-month low. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has quickly rebounded by more than 25% from that low point. Stevens Capital and First Eagle Investment Management are among the funds that have reported ownership of Microsoft, which appears to wisely be steering clear of a rumored purchase of Salesforce.com, Inc (NYSE:CRM).

Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) are also tied for third, with all three companies having 47 funds disclosing ownership in them thus far. In terms of invested capital, Microsoft leads at $4.92 billion, followed by Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) at $3.62 billion and then Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) at $2.18 billion. Citigroup has fallen from standing alone in second by a considerable margin after the previous filing period, while Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), which has had rumored purchases of its own swirling around it involving both Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), has moved up from previously ranking in fifth.

Check back with Insider Monkey over the coming days and weeks as we process the remainder of the filings (70% of which will be made today), and produce a series of informative articles on the results. Even though most investors believe that tracking 13F filings is a fruitless endeavor because they are filed with a delay of a maximum of 45 days after the end of a calendar quarter, the results of our research prove that is not the case. To be on the safe side, we used a delay of 60 days in our backtests that involved the 13F filings of funds between 1999 and 2012 and we still managed to gain an annual alpha in the double digits. Moreover, since the official launch of our small-cap strategy in August 2012, it has generated returns of more than 139%, beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by more than 80 percentage points (see the details).

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