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Top stock-picking hedge funds love gaming, health care and media shares

  • CNBC used data from hedge fund tracking firm Symmetric.io to find the top 10 managers and their biggest bets, according to recent filings.
  • Among the top 10 stock pickers identified by Symmetric.io, the largest new positions were Mason Capital Management's $65 million bet on Sinclair Broadcast, Freshford Capital Management's $32 million stake in Acadia Healthcare and Sector Gamma's $31 million investment in Merck.
  • Mason Capital Management made the greatest additions to its investments in the fourth quarter, with purchases of NXP Semiconductors, Caesars Entertainment and BHP Billiton.
Playing video games on virtual reality headsets
Sam Yeh | AFP | Getty Images

The top hedge fund stock pickers in the market bought some media, health-care and gaming stocks in the fourth quarter.

CNBC used data from hedge fund tracking firm Symmetric.io to find the top 10 managers and their biggest bets, according to recent filings. Hedge funds report their holdings in quarterly filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that are released 45 days after the end of each quarter. Positions may have changed since.

Filings for the quarter ended in December were due Wednesday. Symmetric.io graded the stock-picking ability of more than 1,000 hedge funds in its database with a proprietary indicator called StockAlpha. It is derived by comparing the performance of equities in the fund to that of a sector ETF.

Symmetric top 10 stock-picking hedge funds

Source: Symmetric.io

Among the top 10 stock pickers identified by Symmetric.io, the largest new positions were Mason Capital Management's $65 million bet on Sinclair Broadcast, Freshford Capital Management's $32 million stake in Acadia Healthcare and Sector Gamma's $31 million investment in Merck.

Top new positions also included Freshford's bets on Liberty Broadband and Comcast, Symmetric.io data showed.

Slate Path Capital sold just over half its stake in Twitter, but its holding of the social media stock remains the third largest by size among the biggest stock investments across the 10 hedge funds.

Largest holdings of top 10 stock-picking hedge funds

Source: Symmetric.io

Mason's stake in NXP Semiconductors is the largest, followed by Veritas Investment Management's and Ancient Art's holdings of Class C shares of Google parent Alphabet.

Mason also made the greatest additions to its investments in the fourth quarter, with purchases of NXP Semiconductors, Caesars Entertainment and BHP Billiton.

Castine Capital Management and Sandler O'Neill Asset Management both bet on shares of Sterling Bancorp, which operates a regional bank based in upstate New York. Sterling National Bank ranked 31st in Forbes' 2018 list of best American banks.

Top position increases among 10 best stock-picking hedge funds

Source: Symmetric.io

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.