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Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (ELS): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

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Most investors tend to think that hedge funds and other asset managers are worthless, as they cannot beat even simple index fund portfolios. In fact, most people expect hedge funds to compete with and outperform the bull market that we have witnessed over the past few years. However, hedge funds are generally partially hedged and aim at delivering attractive risk-adjusted returns rather than following the ups and downs of equity markets hoping that they will outperform the broader market. Our research shows that hedge funds do have great stock picking skills, so let’s take a glance at the smart money sentiment towards Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS).

Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS) was in 11 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. ELS investors should pay attention to a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds of late. There were 14 hedge funds in our database with ELS positions at the end of the previous quarter. The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as Oaktree Capital Group LLC (NYSE:OAK), Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H), and American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) to gather more data points.

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How have hedgies been trading Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS)?

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2016, a total of 11 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, down by 21% from the second quarter of 2016. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards ELS over the last 5 quarters. So, let’s find out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

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According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey,  D E Shaw, one of the largest hedge funds in the world,, holds the most valuable position in Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS). D E Shaw has a $90.5 million position in the stock. Coming in second is  Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, holding a $80.4 million position. Remaining peers that are bullish contain Jeffrey Furber’s AEW Capital Management, Murray Stahl’s Horizon Asset Management and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management. We should note that none of these hedge funds are among our list of the 100 best performing hedge funds which is based on the performance of their 13F long positions in non-microcap stocks.

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