When compared to the hedge fund industry at large, activist investors have garnered a disproportionate share of the headlines this year, and for good reason: they’ve been busy — launching 148 activist campaigns in the first half of 2014 alone — and they continue to outperform their hedge fund peers.
Thanks to a bull market and strong relative returns, assets under management for activist investors have swelled — tripling in just the last five years — allowing these high profile fund managers to launch more campaigns and take on bigger companies.
In the second quarter of 2013, institutional investors added to their equity holdings in the financial sector while reducing their exposure to energy stocks. Among the most widely held stocks, portfolio managers as a group added to positions in Microsoft, General Motors, Cisco, and Intel, and trimmed positions in Pfizer, Oracle, General Electric, and AT&T.
In the first quarter of 2013, institutional investors added to their equity holdings in the healthcare sector while reducing their exposure to the technology stocks. Among the most widely held stocks, portfolio managers as a group added to positions in Citigroup (C), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Microsoft (MSFT), and BlackRock (BLK), and trimmed positions in Apple (AAPL), Oracle (ORCL), Pfizer (PFE), and Coca-Cola (KO).
Based on a review of the aggregate filings for the second quarter of 2012, institutional investors added to their holdings in consumer staples and health care stocks while reducing their exposure to the technology and energy sectors.
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