Walgreen Company (WAG): Halvorsen and Rosenstein Own Long Positions While Aggregate HF Sentiment Declines by 20%


Insider Monkey is a website that tracks the activity of over 700 greatest hedge funds and in the latest round of 13F filings, its experts have selected some of the most popular stocks that have witnessed an increase in hedge fund activity during the third quarter of 2014. One of these stocks is Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG), which was in 79 hedge funds’ equity portfolios at the end of September, having names such as  Andreas Halvorsen and Barry Rosenstein among its shareholders. However, WAG has seen a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money during that period, since there were 104 hedge funds in their database with WAG holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Why does Insider Monkey track the activity of hedge funds? Well, in the financial world there are many metrics that stock market investors employ to pick companies to put their money in. Interestingly, two of these useful metrics are hedge fund and insider trading moves. Hedge fund experts at Insider Monkey have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top investment managers can outclass the broader indices by a very impressive amount (see the details here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to check out the recent action surrounding Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG).

How have hedgies been trading Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG)?

In this way, at the end of September, a total of 79 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long on Walgreen, which is down by 24% over the quarter. However, despite an aggregate decline, there are several key money managers that apparently have been bullish on the company.

One of these funds is Viking Global, managed by Andreas Halvorsen, which holds the number one position in Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG), among the funds tracked by Insider Monkey. Viking Global has a $1.23 billion position in the stock, comprising 4.9% of its 13F portfolio. It is followed by activist investor Barry Rosenstein of JANA Partners, with a $740.9 million position, representing 3.8% of its equity portfolio. Among other investors, there are John Griffin’s Blue Ridge Capital, Michael Lowenstein’s Kensico Capital and Eric W. Mandelblatt’s Soroban Capital Partners.

Nevertheless, seeing as Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) has experienced bearish sentiment from the smart money, it is important to see who of the smart money have sold out their positions. Intriguingly, Larry Robbins’s Glenview Capital cut the biggest investment of the 700 funds tracked by Insider Monkey, totaling an estimated $265.2 million in stock, and Peter Adam Hochfelder of Brahman Capital was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $220.5 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 25 funds last quarter.

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