eBay, Facebook and General Motors attract hedge fund buyers

Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:30pm EST
 
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By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

(Reuters) - Top U.S. hedge fund managers in the fourth quarter focused on the consumer sector, with investment plays ranging from high-end auction house Sotheby's (BID.N: Quote) to eBay Inc (EBAY.O: Quote), the multinational Internet consumer-to-consumer corporation.

General Motors (GM.N: Quote) also became the flavor of the quarter with many hedge funds as the U.S. government exited its position. This year, however, the stock price has fallen nearly 14 percent, making for a rough start for new CEO Mary Barra.

But on Friday, the automaker's stock rose 62 cent, or 1.76 percent, to $35.82.

The quarterly disclosures of manager stock holdings, in so-called 13F filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, are always intriguing for investors trying to divine a pattern in what savvy traders are selling and buying.

But relying on the filings to develop an investment strategy comes with some peril because the disclosures are backward looking and come out 45 days after the end of each quarter.

Still, the filings offer a glimpse into what hedge fund managers saw as opportunities to make money on the long side. The filings don't disclose short positions, bets that a stock will fall in price. And there's also little disclosure on bonds and other securities that do not trade on exchanges.

Upon request, the SEC also permits managers to omit sensitive stock positions from 13F filings. As a result, the public filings don't always present a complete picture of a manager's stock holdings.

Here are some of the hot stocks and sectors in which hedge fund managers either took new positions or exited from in the fourth quarter.   Continued...

 
A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Dell laptop in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic