Top billionaire money managers like Warren Buffett, Chase Coleman and David Tepper were bullish on FANG stocks in the fourth quarter of 2017, with Facebook Inc. (FB) and Apple Inc. (AAPL) especially popular, according to Benzinga. The revelations were made in 13F filings that investment firms with at least $100 million in assets under management must file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
February 15 was the deadline for 13F filings for the last quarter of 2017. One of the benefits to the quarterly 13F season is comparing the activities of different top investors over the past few months. While billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway provides buy and sell information across quarters, it's also useful to see how different top money managers moved their assets over the same time period.
Facebook and Apple Were Popular
There is likely never going to be a quarter in which all hedge fund managers make the same decision on any particular stock. That being said, there are broader trends among managers, when multiple funds buy or sell the same names over the same short window of time.
Facebook, the social media giant, was on the buy list for billionaire hedge fund managers like Jana Partners' Barry Rosenstein, Appaloosa Management's Tepper, and Tiger Global Management's Coleman. (See also: David Tepper's Appaloosa Portfolio Jumped Nearly 50%: 13F.)
Tepper bought up AAPL shares over the quarter, along with legendary investment guru Buffett. While FANG stocks typically come in and out of favor with hedge fund managers, these two companies saw some positive attention in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Brick-and-Mortar Stores Also Noteworthy
Brick-and-mortar retailers like JC Penney Company (JCP), Nordstrom Inc. (JWN), and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (KORS) were also popular among money managers last quarter. (See also: Hedge Fund Billionaires Bet on Consumer Discretionary Stocks: 13F.) Perhaps part of the reason for this shift has to do with rising wages and prices. Despite inflation concerns, hedge funds may have decided that these ventures were profitable investments, as consumers tend to increase spending in these areas when wages are on the rise.
To be sure, tech stocks and FANG names were not unanimous purchases in the past quarter. Rosenstein and billionaire David Einhorn both sold stakes in Altaba (AABA), the holding company for stakes in Alibaba (BABA) and Yahoo! Japan, while Tepper bought up shares of Alibaba and Altaba alike.
Greenlight Capital's Einhorn bought up JCP, JWN, and KORS stock. George Soros' Soros Fund Management also bought retail store stocks, adding to positions in Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN), Overstock.com Inc. (OSTK), and Gap Inc. (GPS). Meanwhile, Bill Ackman's Pershing Square bought shares of NIke Inc. (NKE).
13Fs are useful tools to gauge hedge fund interest in particular stocks or sectors. However, it's important to remember that each of these funds and money managers may have significantly changed their positions in these and other names in the time since Dec. 31, 2017. (See more: What Is a 13F and How Can You Benefit From It?)