×

WRAPUP 1-Big-name U.S. hedge funds shed healthcare stocks during the rally in Q2

Q2@

NEW YORK, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Several big-name hedge fund investors trimmed their stakes in healthcare companies in the second quarter as the sector led the broad U.S. stock market higher, rallying as Republican efforts to repeal and replace President Obama's signature healthcare law dimmed.

New York-based Jana Partners sold all of its shares in nine healthcare companies, ranging from small-cap biotech company Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc to health information company WebMD Health Corp to insurance giant Aetna Inc , according to quarterly filings released Monday.

Billionaire Daniel Loeb's Third Point sold 175,000 shares, or about 18 percent of its stake, in health insurance company Humana Inc and 5 million shares of hospital products maker Baxter International Inc, a cut of approximately 10 percent of its prior position.

Healthcare stocks in the S&P 500 rose 6.7 percent in the second quarter, more than double the 2.6 percent gain in the broad S&P 500 index. Senate Republicans delayed a vote on a healthcare overhaul bill on June 27 after it became clear that they did not have enough votes for it to pass. One month later, a scaled-down plan to replace the Affordable Care Act failed in the Senate.

Quarterly disclosures of hedge fund managers' stock holdings, in what are known as 13F filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, are one of the few public ways of tracking what the managers are selling and buying. But relying on the filings to develop an investment strategy comes with some risk because the disclosures come out 45 days after the end of each quarter and may not reflect current positions.

Overall, hedge funds gained 1 percent in the second quarter, according to Chicago-based fund tracker Hedge Fund Research, less than half of the 2.5 percent gain in the first quarter.

There were few signs that hedge fund managers were attempting to call a bottom in energy stocks as the falling price of oil helped send the sector down 7 percent in the quarter. New York-based Third Point sold all of its stake in Rice Energy Inc, Halcon Resources Corp, Enerplus Corp, and Pioneer Natural Resources Co

Jana Partners sold all of its stake in Resolute Energy Corp , while New York-based Omega Advisors sold its entire stake in seven energy companies, including Cheniere Energy Inc , Eclipse Resources Corp, and Williams Partners LP. (Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Jennifer Ablan and Phil Berlowitz)