BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Hedge fund managers must be really happy that Game of Thrones is back on. That's one explanation for the huge bet that fund managers made on television stocks in the last quarter.
TV stocks were one of the few themes that fund managers piled into in 2014. With the exception of a few key areas such as health care and energy, hedge funds actually pared down their stock exposure as the broad market corrected at the start of the year. And television stocks are the most interesting set of the group because the theme spans several sectors; funds weren't shy about adding everything from cable and satellite operators to TV networks and studios to their portfolios last quarter.
Want to know which TV stocks the "smart money" is buying in 2014? Then pass the remote while we flip through institutional investors' latest 13F filings.
Institutional investors with more than $100 million in assets are required to file a 13F -- a form that breaks down their stock positions for public consumption. From hedge funds to mutual funds to insurance companies, any professional investors who manage more than that $100 million watermark are required to file a 13F.
In total, approximately 3,700 firms file 13F forms each quarter, and by comparing one quarter's filing with another, we can see how any single fund manager is moving his or her portfolio around. While the data is generally delayed by about a quarter, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Research shows that applying a lag to institutional holdings can generate positive alpha in some cases. That's all the more reason to crack open the moves being made with pro investors' $19.3 trillion under management. It's early in 13F filing season still, and that means we're getting an early sneak peek at the few names institutional investors love right now.
Today, we'll focus on hedge funds' five favorite TV stocks.