#3. Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC)
Third in this list is Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC), which witnessed a 26% surge in hedge fund support over the first quarter. As of March 31, 29 firms in our database held long stakes in the company, having amassed 6.6% of its outstanding stock. One of the largest positions was the one held by Ken Griffin’s Citadel Advisors, which almost tripled its exposure to the stock over the January-March period, disclosing ownership of 2.78 million shares, worth more than $109 million as of March 31.
Lincoln National’s stock has lost 14% since the beginning of 2016. Most recently, the stock was helped by record new home sales data, which led many traders to boost their bets on a possibility of an interest rate hike, driving yield-hungry financials up, although the latest non-farm payroll data was very disappointing which pushed the prospects of a hike further away.
#2. Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA)
In spite of a 16.6% reduction in hedge fund support over the firs quarter, Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA) occupies the runner-up position in our list. According to our calculations, the 30 funds with long stakes in the company by March 31 held more than 15.5% of its total shares outstanding, or almost $1 billion in stock.
Shares of Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA), which plummeted 19.34% over the first quarter, have inched up by 2% since the beginning of April. Recently the company announced the monthly distributions on the common shares of two of its Voya Investment Management closed-end funds. Returns for the Voya Global Equity Div & Prm Oppty Fund (NYSE:IGD) came in at $0.076 per share, and returns for the Voya International High Div Eqt Incm Fd (NYSE:IID) came in at $0.069 per share.
#1. Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET)
Finally, there’s Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET), which witnessed an increase of almost 22% in hedge fund support over the first quarter of 2016. By March 31, the company counted 50 hedge fund backers in our database, which held 3.4% of its float. The most valuable position was that of Ric Dillon’s Diamond Hill Capital, which last disclosed ownership of 7.36 million shares, worth more than $323 million.
Shares of Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) are down by over 10% year-to-date, although analysts remain bullish on the stock and earlier this month, Argus reiterated its ‘Buy’ rating, while last month Bank of America maintained its ‘Buy’ rating and RBC Capital reiterated its ‘Outperform’ rating, but lowered the price target to $62 from $65.
Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article.