Big Money: The Complete Breakdown of Q4 Hedge Fund Trades

Hedge funds with holdings above $100 million are required by the SEC to submit quarterly updates on their portfolio. The Street of Walls recently released a report analyzing those filings (13F forms) from 2011′s Q4 to discover the trends of the 23 largest and influential firms.

The 60 page report, found here, is highly detailed, but we pulled out some the most helpful details to help you analyze the trends. 

Sectors: "Out of the 23 hedge funds examined, Consumer Discretionary was the leading sector for investment in 4Q11 (as a % of sector investments from last quarter) followed by Energy and Technology."

Sector changes: "There was a big push within the quarter to Consumer Discretionary (+3.1%), Financials (+0.7%), and Health Care (+0.5%), while Industrials (-1.4%) and Materials (-1.5%) declined the most." 

Crowded existing stocks: These stocks have seen a lot of overlapping interest from the top 23 hedge funds. Here are the companies that have seen 4+ overlaps: Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), News Corp-A (NWSA), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), (PCLN), SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), Yahoo (YHOO), El Paso Corp (EP), Delphi Automotive (DLPH), Qualcomm (QCOM), Expedia (EXPE), Liberty Media-A (LMCA). Remember, "crowded trades can lead to higher than normal share price volatility."

"We found a majority of hedge funds largest positions were shared among the hedge funds in our universe. AAPL was by far the most crowded position in the top 8 holdings for hedge funds: Greenlight, Lone Pine, Blue Ridge, Coatue, and Tiger all have AAPL as the largest position in their holdings." 

New and crowded stocks: "The most crowded new ideas during the quarter were DLPH, LMCA, and GLD. Other new positions shared among hedge funds but with less overlap were ORCL, VRUS, QCOM, YHOO, URI, TXN, WFC, and GOOG." Delphi Automotive (DLPH), Liberty Media -A (LMCA) and El Paso Corp (EP) were new positions in more than 3+ funds, the others mentioned had increased exposure to 2 funds.

Business section: Investing ideas
Do you think these hedge funds are making the right investment decisions?

If you're interested in following the performances of the stocks mentioned above -- specifically the existing crowded stocks -- we provide you with a detailed list below as a starting point for your own analysis. (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. Apple (NAS: AAPL) : Designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. Market cap of $480.03B. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.78, and P/FCF ratio at 12.74. Exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 8.63% above its SMA20, 18.62% above its SMA50, and 32.72% above its SMA200. The stock has had a good month, gaining 22.5%.

2. Delphi Automotive: Together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and supplies vehicle components, electrical and electronic, powertrain, safety, and thermal technology solutions for automotive and commercial vehicle markets worldwide. Market cap of $10.15B. 0xhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 6.98% above its SMA20, 23.28% above its SMA50, and 28.11% above its SMA200. The stock has had a good month, gaining 23.23%.

3. El Paso: Operates in the natural gas transmission, and exploration and production sectors of the energy industry primarily in the United States. Market cap of $20.74B. The stock has gained 52.44% over the last year.

4. Expedia: Operates as an online travel company in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $4.41B. The stock has gained 8.33% over the last year.

5. Google (NAS: GOOG) : Is the world's most popular search engine. Market cap of $199.64B. The stock has lost 2.55% over the last year.

6. Liberty Capital Group: Through its subsidiaries, engages in the media, communications, and entertainment businesses primarily in North America. Market cap of $10.76B. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.05). The stock has gained 20.48% over the last year.

7. Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) : Develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products and services for various computing devices worldwide. Market cap of $263.81B. The stock has gained 19.36% over the last year.

8. News Corp.: Operates as a diversified media company worldwide. Market cap of $48.34B. The stock has gained 11.47% over the last year.

9. Operates as an online travel company. Market cap of $29.11B. Exhibiting strong upside momentum -- currently trading 7.09% above its SMA20, 15.31% above its SMA50, and 15.6% above its SMA200. The stock has had a good month, gaining 12.76%.

10. QUALCOMM: Engages in the development, design, manufacture, and marketing of digital wireless telecommunications products and services. Market cap of $106.19B. The stock has gained 7.72% over the last year.

11. Wells Fargo (NYS: WFC) : Provides retail, commercial, and corporate banking services primarily in the United States. Market cap of $163.27B. The stock has lost 3.46% over the last year.

12. Yahoo! (NAS: YHOO) : Operates as a digital media company that delivers personalized digital content and experiences, across devices and worldwide. Market cap of $18.29B. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 8.5% over the last week.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

Kapitall's Rebecca Lipman does not own any of the shares mentioned above.

At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Yahoo, QUALCOMM, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, Google, and Apple. The Fool owns shares of and has created a covered strangle position on Wells Fargo. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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