Goldman: Here are the 10 stocks most loved by hedge funds — including Microsoft

  • Goldman's "Hedge Fund VIP" list has outperformed the S&P 500 by an average of 2.2 percentage points per year since 2001.
  • The bank's hedge fund VIP (very important positions) list consists of the 50 stocks that "appear most often among the top 10 holdings of fundamentally driven hedge fund portfolios" for the June quarter.
  • Popular technology companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet are among the top holdings.
Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., smiles during the Microsoft Developers Build Conference in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., smiles during the Microsoft Developers Build Conference in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

Goldman Sachs says the stocks most owned by hedge funds have soundly outperformed the market over the last 17 years.

The bank's hedge fund VIP (very important positions) list consists of the 50 stocks that "appear most often among the top 10 holdings of fundamentally driven hedge fund portfolios" for the June quarter. Goldman looked at the positions of 830 hedge funds with total long and short stock holdings of $2.3 trillion.

The firm said the basket has lagged the S&P 500 by 1.18 percentage points this year through Aug. 17, but hedge funds are still counting on these stocks for strong returns the rest of the year.

"From an implementation standpoint, the hedge fund VIP list represents a tool for investors seeking to 'follow the smart money' based on 13F filings," strategist Ben Snider said in a note to clients Monday. The basket has outperformed the S&P 500 in 62 percent of quarters since 2001, he added, generating an average extra gain of 2.2 percentage points.

Four times a year, hedge funds file their long positions with the SEC in so-called 13F filings, and the information is released to the public 45 days after each quarter ends.

The firm's basket of the top holdings of hedge funds is up 6.7 percent this year through Aug. 17 versus the S&P 500's 7.9 percent gain, according to Goldman Sachs.

Snider noted that technology and consumer stocks represented the largest sector weightings in hedge fund portfolios. Popular technology companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet are among the top holdings.

Here are the top 10 stocks on Goldman's hedge fund VIP list.

Disclosure: Comcast owns CNBC parent NBCUniversal.