Under-the-radar hedge-fund managers beating the market are betting on stocks such as General Electric, Facebook and Biogen this year.
The best-performing hedge funds this year and over the last three years include Aisling Capital, Boxer Capital and RA Capital Management, according to hedge-fund tracking firm Symmetric.io.
The returns are not the funds' outright returns but an estimate of their stock-picking ability. Symmetric.io calculated these returns by comparing the performance of equities in the funds with that of a sector exchange-traded fund. The firm grades the stock-picking ability of nearly 1,000 hedge funds in its database with this proprietary indicator of performance called StockAlpha.
These hidden gems emerged as the top 10 hedge funds with strong outperformance this year, as well as over the last three years. With their quarterly filings out last week, here's a peek at the 10 largest new positions these hedge funds added by the end of the first quarter.
Hedge funds reveal their holdings four time a year in regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the information is released to the public 45 days after each quarter ends.
Steadfast Capital piled into General Electric, adding more than $153 million worth of shares by the end of the first quarter. The fund also added new bets on PG&E, Burlington Stores and Facebook. Steadfast has $10.6 billion in asset under management and the fund's stock picks have returned 23.4% year to date, beating the S&P 500's 14% gain, according to Symmetric.
RA Capital Management and Boxer Capital are focused on health care and biotech companies. RA picked up Sage Therapeutics and Axsome Therapeutics, which are both pharmaceutical companies developing drugs for central nervous system disorders. Axsome surged a whopping 751% this year on successful results for one of its drugs, while Sage has risen 79% in 2019.
Boxer added Biogen, which is down more than 21% this year so far.