The first quarter of 2012 was the best first three-month
period of a year for the Dow Industrials since 1998 and the
best first quarter for the Nasdaq Composite since 1991.
So, you would think if you followed the most popular stocks
held by hedge funds at the end of the last quarter of 2011 you
would have made a killing.
The 15 most overweighted stocks by hedge funds at the end of
2011 identified by the quantitative research department
at Credit Suisse Securities rose 9.1 percent in the
first quarter of 2012. This was better than the Dow
Industrials, which climbed 8.1 percent, but lagged the S&P
500, which jumped 12 percent and the Nasdaq Composite, which
surged 19 percent.
If you bought the full basket of 15 stocks on February 16
the first day after all of the hedge funds had completed
their quarterly 13F filings detailing their stock holdings for
the end of the prior quarter you would have made just
4.66 percent. However, this easily beat the S&P 500, which
rose just 3.71 percent for the same time period.
But the overall performance of that basket of stocks was
heavily skewed by the strong performance of a handful of
companies, including Priceline.com, which was up more than 53
percent in the quarter and 25 percent from mid-February,
In fact, just three stocks outperformed the S&P 500 for
the entire quarter Priceline.com, Medco Health Solutions
and Express Scripts while six stocks outperformed the
benchmark from February 16 through the end of the quarter.
Two stocks lost money over both periods, another two lost
money for just the entire quarter, while two other stocks lost
money from mid-February through the end of the period.
Here are the
15 most overweighted stocks by hedge funds on December 30 and
how they subsequently fared.