Novartis Popular Amongst Latest 13F Filers

At Holdings Channel, we have reviewed the latest batch of the 27 most recent 13F filings for the 03/31/2015 reporting period, and noticed that Novartis ( NVS) was held by 10 of these funds. When hedge fund managers appear to be thinking alike, we find it is a good idea to take a closer look.

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Before we proceed, it is important to point out that 13F filings do not tell the whole story, because these funds are only required to disclose their long positions with the SEC, but are not required to disclose their short positions. A fund making a bearish bet against a stock by shorting calls, for example, might also be long some amount of stock as they trade around their overall bearish position. This long component could show up in a 13F filing and everyone might assume the fund is bullish, but this tells only part of the story because the bearish/short side of the position is not seen.

Having given that caveat, we believe that looking at groups of 13F filings can be revealing, especially when comparing one holding period to another. Below, let's take a look at the change in NVS positions, for this latest batch of 13F filers:

Fund New Position? Change In Share Count Change In Market Value ($ in 1000's)
Columbia Partners L L C Investment Management Existing -17,868 -$1,574
Twin Focus Capital Partners LLC NEW +2,151 +$212
Osterweis Capital Management Inc. Existing -6,795 +$3,453
Forward Management LLC Existing -814 +$528
Santa Fe Partners LLC Existing +26,561 +$2,133
Frontier Wealth Management LLC Existing -1,652 -$140
Strategic Capital Alternatives LLC NEW +1,214 +$120
EagleClaw Capital Managment LLC Existing -100 +$103
Moors & Cabot Inc. Existing +665 +$254
Brown Advisory Securities LLC Existing +155 +$54
Aggregate Change: +3,517 +$5,143

In terms of shares owned, we count 3 of the above funds having increased existing NVS positions from 12/31/2014 to 03/31/2015, with 5 having decreased their positions and 2 new positions.

Looking beyond these particular funds in this one batch of most recent filers, we tallied up the NVS share count in the aggregate among all of the funds which held NVS at the 03/31/2015 reporting period (out of the 2,380 we looked at in total). We then compared that number to the sum total of NVS shares those same funds held back at the 12/31/2014 period, to see how the aggregate share count held by hedge funds has moved for NVS. We found that between these two periods, funds reduced their holdings by 3,519,325 shares in the aggregate, from 66,335,299 down to 62,815,974 for a share count decline of approximately -5.31%. The overall top three funds holding NVS on 03/31/2015 were:

Fund Shares of NVS Held
1. Wells Fargo & Company MN 7,606,470
2. Fisher Asset Management LLC 5,990,224
3. Boston Partners 1,966,545
4-10 Find out the full Top 10 Hedge Funds Holding NVS

We'll keep following the latest 13F filings by hedge fund managers and bring you interesting stories derived from a look at the aggregate information across groups of managers between filing periods. While looking at individual 13F filings can sometimes be misleading due to the long-only nature of the information, the sum total across groups of funds from one reporting period to another can be a lot more revealing and relevant, providing interesting stock ideas that merit further research, like Novartis ( NVS).

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