13 Stocks Institutional Investors Won't Stop Buying in 2018

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University endowments, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently been pouring money into a a group of 13 elite stocks.

These institutional investors don't get easily swayed by hot stocks that are popular with retail investors. You probably won't see a Tesla or a SnapChat in this group, because institutional investors know that these "popular kid" stocks almost always aren't great investments. However, you will find some incredibly solid companies on this list backed by real earnings and real fundamentals.

In order to identify these stocks, we had to comb through every 13D and 13F filing that institutional investors have filed with the SEC in the last quarter. After reviewing more than 5,000 filings, we have identified 13 companies that institutional investors have been buying left. Big money investors are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into these stocks.

#1 - Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Dollars: $520,050,846.76
Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Shares: 2,760,941
Number of Institutional Transactions in the Last 90 Days: 1,817

Inflows and Outflows by Quarter for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Apple logoApple Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, and personal computers to consumers, and small and mid-sized businesses; and education, enterprise, and government customers worldwide. The company also sells related software, services, accessories, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications. It offers iPhone, a line of smartphones; iPad, a line of multi-purpose tablets; and Mac, a line of desktop and portable personal computers, as well as operating systems comprising iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. The company also provides iWork, an integrated productivity suite that helps users create, present, and publish documents, presentations, and spreadsheets; and other application software, such as Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro X, and FileMaker Pro. In addition, it offers Apple TV that connects to consumers' TV and enables them to access digital content directly for streaming high definition video, playing music and games, and viewing photos; Apple Watch, a personal electronic device; and iPod touch, a flash memory-based digital music and media player. Further, the company sells Apple-branded and third-party accessories, such as headphones, displays, storage devices, Beats products, and other connectivity and computing products and supplies. Additionally, it offers iCloud, a cloud service that stores music, photos, contacts, calendars, mail, documents, and others; AppleCare, which offers support options for its customers; and Apple Pay, a cashless payment service. The company sells and delivers digital content and applications through the iTunes Store, App Store, Mac App Store, TV App Store, iBooks Store, and Apple Music. It also sells its products through its retail and online stores, and direct sales force, as well as through third-party cellular network carriers, wholesalers, retailers, and value-added resellers. Apple Inc. was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Cupertino, California.

#2 - Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Dollars: ($1,357,946,472.66)
Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Shares: -13,763,901
Number of Institutional Transactions in the Last 90 Days: 1,772

Inflows and Outflows by Quarter for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft logoMicrosoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software products, services, and devices worldwide. The company's Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office 365 commercial products and services for businesses, including Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, and related Client Access Licenses (CALs); Office 365 consumer services, such as Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive; Dynamics business solutions, such as financial management, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and mid-size businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises; and LinkedIn online professional network. Its Intelligent Cloud segment licenses server products and cloud services, such as Microsoft SQL Server, Windows Server, Visual Studio, System Center, and related CALs, as well as Azure, a cloud platform; and enterprise services, such as Premier Support and Microsoft Consulting that assist in developing, deploying, and managing Microsoft server and desktop solutions, as well as providing training and certification to developers and IT professionals on Microsoft products. The company's More Personal Computing segment comprises Windows OEM, volume, and other non-volume licensing of the Windows operating system; patent licensing, Windows Internet of Things, MSN display advertising, and Windows Phone licensing system; devices, including Microsoft Surface, phones, and PC accessories; and search advertising, including Bing and Bing Ads. It also provides gaming platforms, including Xbox hardware, Xbox Live, video games, and third-party video games. The company markets and distributes its products through original equipment manufacturers, distributors, and resellers, as well as through online and Microsoft retail stores. It has a strategic partnership with CNH Industrial N.V. and BlackBerry Limited. The company was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Redmond, Washington.

#3 - Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)

Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Dollars: $4,643,401,912.80
Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Shares: 24,844,312
Number of Institutional Transactions in the Last 90 Days: 1,649

Inflows and Outflows by Quarter for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)

Facebook logoFacebook, Inc. provides various products to connect and share through mobile devices, personal computers, and other surfaces worldwide. Its products include Facebook Website and mobile application that enables people to connect, share, discover, and communicate with each other on mobile devices and personal computers; Instagram, a community for sharing visual stories through photos, videos, and direct messages; Messenger, a messaging application to communicate with other people, groups, and businesses across various platforms and devices; and WhatsApp, a mobile messaging application. The company also offers Oculus virtual reality technology and content platform, which allows people to enter an immersive and an interactive environment to train, learn, play games, consume content, and connect with others. As of December 31, 2017, it had approximately 1.40 billion daily active users. Facebook, Inc. was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Menlo Park, California.

#4 - Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Dollars: $19,016,961,100.57
Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Shares: 17,613,353
Number of Institutional Transactions in the Last 90 Days: 1,510

Inflows and Outflows by Quarter for Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Alphabet logoAlphabet Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides online advertising services in the United States and internationally. The company offers performance and brand advertising services. It operates through Google and Other Bets segments. The Google segment includes principal Internet products, such as Ads, Android, Chrome, Commerce, Google Cloud, Google Maps, Google Play, Hardware, Search, and YouTube, as well as technical infrastructure and newer efforts, including Virtual Reality. This segment also offers digital content, enterprise cloud services, and hardware products, as well as other miscellaneous products and services. The Other Bets segment includes businesses, such as Access, Calico, CapitalG, GV, Nest, Verily, Waymo, and X, as well as fiber Internet and Television services. Alphabet Inc. was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Mountain View, California.

#5 - JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)

Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Dollars: ($743,391,739.86)
Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Shares: -6,608,514
Number of Institutional Transactions in the Last 90 Days: 1,599

Inflows and Outflows by Quarter for JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)

JPMorgan Chase & Co. logoJPMorgan Chase & Co. operates as a financial services company worldwide. It operates through four segments: Consumer & Community Banking, Corporate & Investment Bank, Commercial Banking, and Asset & Wealth Management. The Consumer & Community Banking segment offers deposit and investment products and services to consumers; lending, deposit, and cash management and payment solutions to small businesses; residential mortgages and home equity loans; and credit cards, payment processing services, auto loans and leases. The Corporate & Investment Bank segment provides investment banking products and services, including advising on corporate strategy and structure, and capital-raising in equity and debt markets, as well as loan origination and syndication; treasury services, such as cash management and liquidity solutions; and cash securities and derivative instruments, risk management solutions, prime brokerage, and research. This segment also offers securities services, including custody, fund accounting and administration, and securities lending products for asset managers, insurance companies, and public and private investment funds. The Commercial Banking segment offers financial solutions, including lending, treasury, investment banking, and asset management to corporations, municipalities, financial institutions, and nonprofit entities, as well as financing to real estate investors and owners. The Asset & Wealth Management segment provides investment and wealth management services across various asset classes, such as equities, fixed income, alternatives, and money market funds; multi-asset investment management services; retirement services; and brokerage and banking services comprising trusts, estates, loans, mortgages, and deposits. JPMorgan Chase & Co. was founded in 1799 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

#6 - Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN)

Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Dollars: $9,779,795,811.50
Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Shares: 6,105,275
Number of Institutional Transactions in the Last 90 Days: 1,629

Inflows and Outflows by Quarter for Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN)

Amazon.com logoAmazon.com, Inc. engages in the retail sale of consumer products and subscriptions in North America and internationally. The company operates through three segments: North America, International, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) segments. It sells merchandise and content purchased for resale from vendors, as well as those offered by third-party sellers through physical stores and retail Websites, such as amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.com.mx, amazon.com.au, amazon.com.br, amazon.cn, amazon.fr, amazon.de, amazon.in, amazon.it, amazon.co.jp, amazon.nl, amazon.es, and amazon.co.uk. The company also manufactures and sells electronic devices, including kindle e-readers, fire tablets, fire TVs, and echo devices; and provides Kindle Direct Publishing, an online service that allows independent authors and publishers to make their books available in the Kindle Store. In addition, it offers programs that enable sellers to sell their products on its Websites, as well as their own branded Websites; and programs that allow authors, musicians, filmmakers, app developers, and others to publish and sell content. Further, the company provides compute, storage, database, and other AWS services, as well as fulfillment, publishing, digital content subscriptions, advertising, and co-branded credit card agreement services. Additionally, it offers Amazon Prime, a membership program, which provides free shipping of various items; access to unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes; and other services. It serves consumers, sellers, developers, enterprises, and content creators. The company was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

#7 - Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL)

Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Dollars: $16,535,830,387.04
Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Shares: 15,226,924
Number of Institutional Transactions in the Last 90 Days: 1,604

Inflows and Outflows by Quarter for Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL)

Alphabet logoAlphabet Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides online advertising services in the United States and internationally. The company offers performance and brand advertising services. It operates through Google and Other Bets segments. The Google segment includes principal Internet products, such as Ads, Android, Chrome, Commerce, Google Cloud, Google Maps, Google Play, Hardware, Search, and YouTube, as well as technical infrastructure and newer efforts, including Virtual Reality. This segment also offers digital content, enterprise cloud services, and hardware products, as well as other miscellaneous products and services. The Other Bets segment includes businesses, such as Access, Calico, CapitalG, GV, Nest, Verily, Waymo, and X, as well as fiber Internet and Television services. Alphabet Inc. was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Mountain View, California.

#8 - Visa (NYSE:V)

Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Dollars: ($918,016,020.60)
Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Shares: -6,960,995
Number of Institutional Transactions in the Last 90 Days: 1,444

Inflows and Outflows by Quarter for Visa (NYSE:V)

Visa logoVisa Inc. operates as a payments technology company worldwide. The company facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among consumers, merchants, financial institutions, businesses, strategic partners, and government entities. It operates VisaNet, a processing network that enables authorization, clearing, and settlement of payment transactions; and offers fraud protection for account holders and assured payment for merchants. The company also offers gateway services for merchants to accept, process, and reconcile payments; manage fraud; and safeguard payment security online, as well as processing services for participating issuers of visa debit, prepaid, and ATM payment products. In addition, it provides digital products, including Visa Checkout that offers consumers an expedited, and secure payment experience for online transactions; and Visa Direct, a push payment product platform, that allows businesses, governments, and consumers to use the Visa network to transfer funds from an originating account to another via a debit, prepaid, or credit card number, as well as Visa token service that replaces the card account numbers from the transaction with a token. Further the company offers corporate (travel) and purchasing card products, as well as value-added services. It provides its services under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink, V PAY, and PLUS brands. Visa Inc. was incorporated in 2007 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

#9 - Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Dollars: $1,712,738,263.35
Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Shares: 13,873,943
Number of Institutional Transactions in the Last 90 Days: 1,636

Inflows and Outflows by Quarter for Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

Johnson & Johnson logoJohnson & Johnson, together with its subsidiaries, researches and develops, manufactures, and sells various products in the health care field worldwide. Its Consumer segment offers baby care products under the JOHNSON'S brand; oral care products under the LISTERINE brand; beauty products under the AVEENO, CLEAN & CLEAR, DABAO, JOHNSON'S Adult, LE PETITE MARSEILLAIS, NEUTROGENA, RoC, and OGX brands; over-the-counter medicines, including acetaminophen products under the TYLENOL brand; cold, flu, and allergy products under the SUDAFED brand; allergy products under the BENADRYL and ZYRTEC brands; ibuprofen products under the MOTRIN IB brand; and acid reflux products under the PEPCID brand. This segment also provides women's health products, such as sanitary pads under the STAYFREE and CAREFREE brands, and tampons under the o.b. brand; wound care products comprising adhesive bandages under the BAND-AID brand and first aid products under the NEOSPORIN brand. The company's Pharmaceutical segment offers various products in the areas of immunology, infectious diseases and vaccines, neuroscience, oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic, and pulmonary hypertension diseases. Its Medical Devices segment provides orthopedic products; general surgery, biosurgical, endomechanical, and energy products; electrophysiology products to treat cardiovascular disease; sterilization and disinfection products to reduce surgical infection; diabetes care products that include blood glucose monitoring; and vision care products, such as disposable contact lenses and ophthalmic products related to cataract and laser refractive surgery. The company markets its products to general public, retail outlets and distributors, wholesalers, hospitals, and health care professionals for prescription use, as well as for use in the professional fields by physicians, nurses, hospitals, eye care professionals, and clinics. Johnson & Johnson was founded in 1885 and is based in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

#10 - Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA)

Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Dollars: $2,219,483,241.60
Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Shares: 11,277,862
Number of Institutional Transactions in the Last 90 Days: 932

Inflows and Outflows by Quarter for Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA)

Alibaba Group logoAlibaba Group Holding Limited, through its subsidiaries, operates as an online and mobile commerce company in the People's Republic of China and internationally. The company operates in four segments: Core Commerce, Cloud Computing, Digital Media and Entertainment, and Innovation Initiatives and Others. It operates Taobao Marketplace, a mobile commerce destination; Tmall, a third-party platform for brands and retailers; Rural Taobao program that enables rural residents and businesses to sell agricultural products to urban consumers; Juhuasuan, a sales and marketing platform for flash sales; Alibaba.com, an online wholesale marketplace; Alitrip, an online travel booking platform; 1688.com, an online wholesale marketplace; and AliExpress, a consumer marketplace. The company also provides pay-for-performance and display marketing services through its Alimama marketing technology platform; and Taobao Ad Network and Exchange, a real-time bidding online marketing exchange in China. In addition, it offers cloud computing services, including elastic computing, database, storage and content delivery network, large scale computing, security, and management and application services, as well as big data analytics and a machine learning platform through its Alibaba Cloud Computing platform; Web hosting and domain name registration services; and payment and escrow services, as well as develops and operates mobile Web browsers. The company provides its solutions primarily for businesses. Alibaba Group Holding Limited has strategic collaborations with Driscoll's and Thai Union/Chicken of the Sea to launch their food products to China; and a collaboration agreement with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The company was founded in 1999 and is based in Hangzhou, the People's Republic of China.

#11 - Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)

Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Dollars: $1,818,410,761.86
Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Shares: 50,553,538
Number of Institutional Transactions in the Last 90 Days: 1,545

Inflows and Outflows by Quarter for Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)

Pfizer logoPfizer Inc. discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products worldwide. It operates in two segments, Pfizer Innovative Health (IH) and Pfizer Essential Health (EH). The IH segment focuses on the development and commercialization of medicines and vaccines, and consumer healthcare products in various therapeutic areas, including internal medicine, vaccines, oncology, inflammation and immunology, and rare diseases, as well as consumer healthcare, such as over-the-counter brands comprising dietary supplements, pain management, gastrointestinal, and respiratory and personal care. This segment offers products primarily under the Prevnar 13/Prevenar 13, Xeljanz, Eliquis, Lyrica, Enbrel, Ibrance, Xtandi, Advil, and Centrum brands. The EH segment offers products that would lose or have lost marketing patent protection; branded generic products; generic sterile injectable products; biosimilars; and anti-infectives. It provides products under the Lipitor, Premarin family, Norvasc, Lyrica, Celebrex, Viagra, Inflectra/Remsima, Pristiq, Zyvox, Vfend, Revatio, Inspra, Medrol, Sulperazon, Fragmin, Tygacil, Nivestim, and Retacrit brand names. This segment also engages in the research and development, as well as contract manufacturing activities. Pfizer Inc. has collaboration and/or co-promotion agreements with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company for the development of Eliquis; Astellas Pharma US, Inc. for developing Xtandi; Merck KGaA for the development of Bavencio; and Neofluidics, LLC to develop a microfluidics-based platform. It serves wholesalers, retailers, hospitals, clinics, government agencies, pharmacies, and individual provider offices, as well as centers for disease control and prevention. Pfizer Inc. was founded in 1849 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

#12 - ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM)

Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Dollars: $2,001,960,421.95
Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Shares: 24,369,573
Number of Institutional Transactions in the Last 90 Days: 1,571

Inflows and Outflows by Quarter for ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM)

ExxonMobil logoExxon Mobil Corporation explores for and produces crude oil and natural gas in the United States, Canada/Other Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia/Oceania. It operates through Upstream, Downstream, and Chemical segments. The company also manufactures petroleum products; manufactures and markets commodity petrochemicals, including olefins, aromatics, polyethylene, and polypropylene plastics, as well as various specialty products; and transports and sells crude oil, natural gas, and petroleum products. As of December 31, 2017, it had approximately 25,827 net operated wells with proved reserves of 21.2 billion oil-equivalent barrels. The company has collaboration agreements with MagnaBond, LLC to develop technologies that enhances evaluation of well cementing, casing, and tubing. Exxon Mobil Corporation was founded in 1870 and is headquartered in Irving, Texas.

#13 - Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO)

Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Dollars: ($1,958,302,644.48)
Net Inflows of from Institutional Investors in Shares: -44,832,936
Number of Institutional Transactions in the Last 90 Days: 1,602

Inflows and Outflows by Quarter for Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO)

Cisco Systems logoCisco Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, and sells Internet Protocol (IP) based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide. The company offers switching products, including fixed-configuration and modular switches, and storage products that provide connectivity to end users, workstations, IP phones, wireless access points, and servers; and next-generation network routing products that interconnect public and private wireline and mobile networks for mobile, data, voice, and video applications. It also provides collaboration products comprising unified communications products, conferencing products, collaboration endpoints, and business messaging products; data center products, such as blade and rack servers, series, fabric interconnects, and management software solutions; wireless products consisting of wireless access points, WLAN controllers, cloud and appliances based services, and integrated software services. In addition, the company offers security products, including network and data center security, advanced threat protection, Web and email security, access and policy, unified threat management, and advisory, integration, and managed services; and other products, such as emerging technologies and other networking products. Further, the company offers a distributed file system for hyperconvergence that enables server-based storage systems; service provider video software and solutions; and technical support services and advanced services. It serves businesses of various sizes, public institutions, governments, and service providers. The company sells its products directly, as well as through channel partners, such as systems integrators, service providers, other resellers, and distributors. The company was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.







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