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The Most Popular (And Unpopular) Stocks Of Q2

August 19, 2015 8:48 am
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To make better sense of the 13F season, Benzinga will take a look at some general trends seen among institutional investors in the second quarter of the year.

It comes as no surprise that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was the most popular stock among institutions. According to WhaleWisdom, more than 2,100 investment firms held the tech behemoth’s stock as of the end of the second quarter.

The company saw 83 newcomers, and only 69 firms leave it. Moreover, the company stood among the top 10 picks of more than 1,100 firms, making it the leader in this category as well.

However, one stock was more popular among hedge funds, Alexandr Oleinic, editor at InsiderMonkey, assures: Allergan PLC (NYSE: AGN). The pharma company was included in the equity portfolios of 150 funds the site tracks, compared to Apple’s inclusion in 142 portfolios.

Having said this, it is also important to highlight that Allergan was not very popular among overall institutional investors. In fact, the stock does not even make it to the top 25 holdings list.

One very popular stock, however, was Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), held by more than 1,900 investment management firms, pretty much like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), which trails it from close behind.

Completing the top 5 are Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) and General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), each of which counts with the support of roughly 1,900 investment firms.

Also worth mentioning is Reynolds American, Inc. (NYSE: RAI), which saw 148 firms initiate new stakes over the quarter, and now counts with the support of more than 650 institutional investors including Invesco, the Vanguard Group and Kenneth Mario Garschina’s Mason Capital Management, which own 24,877,507 shares, 24,059,947 shares, and 5,670,592 shares, respectively.

On the other hand, Windstream Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: WIN), which had a 1:6 stock split on late-April, was one of the least popular. 208 institutions closed out their positions over the second quarter, leaving barely 253 firms backing it. Furthermore, among the remaining investors, 198 trimmed their positions.

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