BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- The results are in -- and hedge funds' favorite stocks for the first quarter of 2015 may surprise you.
Performance has been hard to come by in 2015, a fact that hasn't been lost on professional investors. By and large, funds' favorite stocks have been big, but there have been some notable exceptions. Likewise, while the majority of funds' buying went to the consumer discretionary and health care sectors, there were some notable exceptions there too.
So which stocks is the smart money buying? For that, we'll have to turn to the financial 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.
Want to know which stocks are pro investors' favorites? Those 13Fs hold the key.
By comparing one quarter's filing with another, we can see how any single fund manager is moving his or her portfolio around. In other words, we can see which stocks are their favorites. 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' $21.3 trillion under management.
Without further ado, here's a closer look at funds' five favorite names in the aggregate.