Market Overview

Popular Drug Manufacturing Stocks Among Hedge Funds

The drug manufacturing sector is a high growth area that can be difficult to invest in. It may be in investor's interests to follow well-known hedge funds that have holdings in this sector.

Here are 10 drug manufacturing stocks that are popular amongst hedge funds:

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE): Pfizer is one of the most popular stocks amongst hedge funds. As of the end of March, a total of 80 hedge funds are holders of Pfizer. The company is a leader in drug development and manufacturing. Amongst hedge funds invested in Pfizer, Kahn Brothers holds 2,513,859 shares. Kahn Brothers was founded, and is run by Irving Kahn and his sons. At age 106, Irving Kahn is the oldest active living investment professional. Pfizer is a well-established drug manufacturing company that has recently declared a quarterly dividend of $0.22 per share. Pfizer is up about 5% year-to-date.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ): Another popular drug manufacturing stocks that hedge funds own is Johnson & Johnson. The company is one of the largest drug manufacturing companies, having a market capitalization of $188.13 billion. There are a total of 64 hedge funds. One of the most well known of these hedge funds is Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire Hathaway holds 29, 018, 127 shares of Johnson & Johnson, which makes up about 2.54 percent of its portfolio. On Monday, Johnson & Johnson declared a dividend of $0.61 per share of common stock.

Sanofi Aventis (NYSE: SNY): Sanofi is another popular stock that is held by hedge funds. Two of its principle products are Lantus and Apidra analogs of human insulin. One of the 67 hedge funds that own shares of Sanofi is Firefly Value Partners. Ryan Heslop and Ariel Warszawski started this hedge fund. They hold 1,012,063 shares of Sanofi, which makes up about 6.65 percent of their portfolio.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSEL: ABT): Abbott Laboratories creates a variety of different drugs and diagnostic systems. At the end of March, there were 53 hedge funds that hold positions in Abbott Laboratories. Mason Hawkins, a value investor and the founder of Southeastern Asset Management holds 10,605,900 shares of Abbott Laboratories. On July 3, the FDA approved its drug Healon, a surgical aid in cataract extraction. Year-to-date, Abbott Laboratories is up about 15.5 percent.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: VRX): This drug manufacturing company develops and manufactures products for neurology, dermatology, and branded genetics. Valeant has a total of 50 hedge funds invested in it. One hedge fund invested in Valeant is Andreas Halvorsen's Viking Global. Halvorsen's company holds 8,387,949 shares in the pharmaceutical company. On July 15, Valeant agreed to acquire OraPharma, a specialty oral health company, for $312 million.

Merck and Co. (NYSE: MRK): Merck is another popular drug manufacturer amongst hedge funds. The company creates prescription medicines and vaccines for the treatment of various human disorders. A hedge fund that holds 4,382,711 shares of Merck is John A. Levin's company Levin Capital Management. Merck makes up about 4.5 percent of Levin Capital Management's portfolio. In total, 49 hedge funds are invested in Merck. On July 11, Merck announced that it is taking steps to close its trial on its drug odanacatib, because it showed positive results.

Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries (NYSE: TEVA): Teva develops and manufactures drugs in many different dosage forms, including creams, ointments, capsules, and liquids. As of the end of March, 47 hedge funds had positions in Teva. A well-known investor that has a long position in Teva is Daniel Loeb. He runs the hedge fund Third Point. Loeb owns 800,000 shares, which makes up about 1% of his portfolio. Although Teva is popular amongst hedge funds, the stock is down about 5 percent year-to-date.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY): There are 41 hedge funds invested in Bristol-Myers Squibb as of the end of March. The company creates a variety of different drugs that treat serious diseases around the world. Jim Simons' Renaissance Technologies is the largest hedge fund holder, with 12,990,400 shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb. His private investment firm is known well for using mathematical models to analyze trades. On July 10, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that it offered to purchase all of Amylin Pharmaceutical's shares outstanding.

Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: WPI): Watson Pharmaceuticals develops and manufactures drugs that are used for therapeutically categories. Ken Griffin's Citadel Investment Group owns 790,684 shares of Watson Pharmaceuticals. Griffin's hedge fund is 1 of 38 hedge funds that hold shares of the company. Watson hit a new 52-week high on Monday, and is trading up about 27% year-to-date.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: QCOR): A total of 28 hedge funds hold shares of Questcor Pharmaceuticals. Questcor develops and manufactures drugs for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, nephrotic syndrome, and infantile spasms indications. Palo Alto Investors, founded by William Edwards, invests mostly in technology, but also holds 1,304,849 shares of Questcor. The pharmaceutical company makes up about 5.5 percent of Palo Alto Investors portfolio. Questcor shares fell on Friday after failing to address concerns about the marketing of its drug Acthar, which makes up a majority of its revenue.

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