Google Inc (GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Among Five Most Popular Tech Stocks Among Hedge Funds

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Once per quarter hedge funds and other institutional investors reveal their equity positions as of the end of the respective quarter. While following the activity of hedge funds might provide retail investors with some opportunities, it also helps to identify which stocks are the most popular among hedge funds. In this piece, we will take a look at the five most popular tech stocks among hedge funds as of the end of the first quarter of 2014 using data provided by Insider Monkey.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been the hedge funds’ favorite for a few quarters now. Amongst the roughly 700 hedge funds that Insider Monkey keeps track of, 149 held long stakes in Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) by the end of the first quarter of 2014, down from 170 in the previous quarter. Despite this decrease in hedge fund bullishness, the company maintains its front-runner position.

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One of the largest shareholders of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is Boykin Curry’s Eagle Capital Management, which holds 797,297 shares, valued at roughly $888 million. As stated above, however, many investment guru have trimmed their stakes in Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) during the first quarter. For instance, Alex Snow’s Lansdowne Partners trimmed its exposure by 27%. Still, the fund owns 713,751 shares; a position not to be overlooked.

Trailing Google, with 131 hedge fund shareholders, is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), the $340 billion market cap company responsible for making the software that most of your computers are currently running on. It rose from the third spot held at the end of the last year, when 120 funds revealed long positions in the company. Same as in the previous quarter, the big bull is Jeffrey Ubben ‘s ValueAct Capital, which declared holding 71.285 million shares, up by 7% over the quarter. Amongst the newcomers, William B. Gray’s Orbis Investment Management seems to be the most bullish, with 7.28 million shares. In addition, one Board Director, Mason G Morfit spent more than $116 million in the company’s stock in early May.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was, during 2011 and 2012, the hedge funds’ most favorite stock, but this is no longer the case. Nonetheless, the technology giant is still on a top position. Over the first quarter, hedge fund’s holdings in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shrank from 160 to 129. While David Einhorn ‘s Greenlight Capital decreased its position in the company by 17%, and now holds approximately 1.99 million shares (about $1 billion in stock), Carl Icahn, the largest hedge fund shareholder, upped its bets by 59%, to 7.53 million shares.

On the fourth spot is eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), a $64 billion market cap online commerce company. A 6% increase in hedge fund shareholders means that now 103 hedge funds hold long positions in its stock. Amongst them, we would like to highlight Carl Icahn’s stake, started during the first quarter. His 27.8 million shares of eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) are worth more than $1.5 billion.

As you might figure, the last company in this list is Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). The social media monarch kept the number of hedge funds betting on it intact; 100 funds hold its stock. By March 31, D. E. Shaw was the largest hedge fund shareholder of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), with approximately 9 million shares, up 52%, when compared to the previous quarter.

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no position in any stocks mentioned

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