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How AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (AZN) Stacks Up Against Its Peers

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Viking Global, managed by Andreas Halvorsen, assembled the largest position in AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN). Viking Global had $137.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management also initiated a $19.7 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new AZN investors: James Dondero’s Highland Capital Management, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, and Hal Mintz’s Sabby Capital.

Let’s now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN). We will take a look at Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP), Westpac Banking Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:WBK), and Mondelez International Inc (NASDAQ:MDLZ). This group of stocks’ market caps resemble AZN’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
LMT 34 755807 -5
UNP 62 2502901 7
WBK 5 31922 -1
MDLZ 53 5902162 -9

As you can see these stocks had an average of 38.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $2298 million. That figure was $669 million in AZN’s case. Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Westpac Banking Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:WBK) is the least popular one with only 5 bullish hedge fund positions. AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. This is a slightly negative signal and we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. In this regard UNP might be a better candidate to consider a long position.

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