The stocks top hedge funds love

Valeant Pharmaceuticals signage is displayed outside of the company's headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario.
Norm Betts | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Stock-picking hedge funds are finally beating low-cost equity index funds this year thanks to bets like Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Microsoft and Yum Brands.

The S&P 500 index gained 1.29 percent from January through April this year, while the Absolute Return U.S. Equity Index, which tracks hedge funds in the sector, is up 2.03 percent over the same period.

A small group of hedge funds has done even better. Symmetric, which analyzes the quarterly public disclosures of hedge fund stock ownership, ranked the top 20 firms of 1,000 total based on their three-year performance above sector benchmarks. Broadfin Capital is first, followed by Brave Warrior Advisors and Hound Partners.

Here are the stocks that made the most money for that elite group of hedge funds so far in the second quarter, according to a cumulative analysis by Symmetric.