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Morning Brief: Hedge Funds Reveal U.S. Equity Positions for 4Q

Here are a few of the more notable U.S. equity long positions disclosed in 13F documents filed for the fourth quarter.

  • By Stephen Taub

Most hedge funds waited until Wednesday’s deadline to file 13F documents disclosing their U.S. equity long positions for the fourth quarter. Here are a few of the more notable investments.

Chris Hohn’s TCI Fund Management established new stakes in four high-profile U.S. stocks in the fourth quarter, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The London activist, who generally maintains a concentrated portfolio, bought more than 8 million shares of software and cloud giant Microsoft Corp., making it TCI’s fifth largest holding. The firm also took a new position in Google’s A shares to go along with an existing stake in the search-engine company’s C shares. TCI also bought two different classes of media giant 21st Century Fox. At the same time, the hedge fund trimmed its stakes in two very profitable media holdings: Charter Communications and Comcast Corp.

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Jamie Dinan’s York Capital Management Global Advisors established three new positions in insurer Aetna, 21st Century Fox and semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company Qualcomm, an SEC filing shows. The investments immediately became among the top-nine holdings of the multi-strategy firm, which is known for making merger arbitrage bets. All three of these stocks are now targets of acquisitions.

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Dan Loeb’s Third Point bought a sizable stake in Netflix in the fourth quarter, according to an SEC filing. The multi-strategy firm bought 2 million shares of the streaming media giant, which is now the hedge fund’s ninth largest U.S. long. It also took a new position in Intercontinental Exchange Group, which owns financial and commodity exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange.

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Barry Rosenstein’s JANA Partners establish 12 new positions in the fourth quarter and fully sold out of 15 positions, an SEC filing shows. One of the new investments, software company PTC, cracked the firm’s top-10 holdings list.

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Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill surged 15.35 percent Wednesday to close at $289.91 after the casual dining chain announced February 13 that it named Brian Niccol as chief executive officer. Niccol was previously CEO of Yum! Brands' Taco Bell Division. Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management remains the largest shareholder of Chipotle. This is good news for Ackman, whose Pershing Square Holdings was down 9.4 percent for the year through Tuesday, according to the latest posting on its website.

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