Hedge Funds Are Buying Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) and These Other Stocks

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13D and 13G filings from hedge funds reveal large positions taken by hedge funds (or significant changes in these positions) fairly recently after the fund has made its move, and so can serve as up-to-date recommendations from fund managers. Investors shouldn’t be buying each and every stock that any fund happens to buy, so it’s useful to take a brief look at companies seeing hedge fund buying and determine if they are worthy of further research. Here are five stocks hedge funds have been buying recently:

PERSHING SQUARE

Billionaire Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square, which announced a large short position in Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) in December, now has another billionaire taking the other side of the trade: Third Point, managed by Dan Loeb, now owns 8.2% of the outstanding shares. Check out Loeb’s other stock picks. Ackman is basing his argument on some combination of government action and a widespread exodus of distributors from the business, and Loeb is unconvinced. If Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) isn’t going to be negatively impacted by events, then it actually looks cheap at 10 times trailing earnings and its revenue and earnings have actually been increasing somewhat. We’d note that the stock has been rallying and that Loeb may have bought in at a considerably lower price than where Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is currently trading.

AQR Capital Management, which is managed by Cliff Asness, has taken a position of about 590,000 shares in Kayak Software Corp (NASDAQ:KYAK). Kayak is in the process of being acquired by Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN); hedge funds often like to invest in merger arbitrage because the returns depend on the deal going through, rather than business performance, and so have little connection to market conditions (learn what to look out for in merger arbitrage). As far as we can tell the deal is on track to close this quarter after receiving approval from regulators.

Royce & Associates has slightly increased its stake in EnerSys (NYSE:ENS) to a total of 2.7 million shares. The fund is managed by Chuck Royce and tends to focus on small-cap and mid-cap stocks. See more stocks that Royce likes. EnerSys manufactures industrial batteries that are often used as reserve power systems and has recently been experiencing good earnings growth driven by improved margins. Its most recent quarterly report had 58% growth in earnings per share from a year earlier. Enersys trades at only 11 times trailing earnings and might be a good value find by Royce.

Carlson Capital has been buying a nuclear waste related company:

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