Although they opened higher today, US stocks did not manage to keep their gains and quickly returned to red territory. Weekly unemployment claims reached a 14-month high at 294,000, but analysts are not too worried as they believe the main driver were non-teacher school employees, who are allowed to file for unemployment during school breaks. This article, however, is dedicated to 5 stocks that have got investors talking today: Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) and CA, Inc. (NASDAQ:CA).
At Insider Monkey, we track around 790 hedge funds andother institutional investors. Through extensive backtests, we have determined that imitating some of the stocks that these investors are collectively bullish on can help retail investors generate double digits of alpha per year. The key is to focus on the small-cap picks of these funds, which are usually less followed by the broader market and allow for larger price inefficiencies (see more details about our small-cap strategy).
Let’s start off with Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF), which announced yesterday it was leaving the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC), one of the largest anticounterfeiting groups in the worlds. This comes after two other luxury brands recently quit the prestigious group: Gucci and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS). Tiffany and Gucci did not offer a reason for their departure, but Michael Kors pointed out that the main reason for their resignation was the acceptance of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) into the organization. The company said it believes the presence of the Chinese e-commerce giant in the group would offer “cover to our most dangerous and damaging adversary.” Back in April, the board of the IACC, including Tiffany, voted unanimously for the admission of Alibaba, pointing out that marketplaces can play a significant role in the fight against counterfeits. The IACC and Alibaba recently announced plans to boost a program to eliminate counterfeits from the online marketplace quicker, making it available to all brands, free of charge. The e-commerce giant said that it managed to eliminate more than 5,000 online storefronts and more than 180,000 product listings since it launched the program two years ago.
The news did not have a major impact on the price of Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF), which are trading in a range this morning, while Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) opened higher but quickly turned south and is currently trading close to yesterday’s closing price. Billionaire Ken Fisher is optimistic about the prospects of the Chinese e-commerce giant, having boosted his fund’s holding of the stock by 40% on the quarter to some 3.08 million shares worth $243 million at the end of March. Harris Associates, run by Natixis Global Asset Management, has initiated a new position in Tiffany during the first quarter, having reported ownership of 4.75 million shares, valued at roughly $349 million, in its latest 13F filing.
Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) are slightly higher this morning, after the fast food chain increased its share buyback program. Having previously pledged to repurchase $1.9 billion worth of its own stock, the company has set aside another $100 million for the buyback program. The stock has been in a downtrend since the middle of 2015, as the company was plagued by a number of food safety-related outbreaks. In other news, all Chipotle directors emerged unscathed from the company’s latest annual shareholder meeting, despite pressure from a proxy adviser and an activist investor to shake up the board. Still, there was an important victory for the shareholders: a proposal to award them more power to change the slate of directors was approved. Under the new rules, any investor holding a minimum of 3% of Chipotle’s outstanding stock for the last three years is entitled to nominate directors to the board. “Today’s vote serves as a wake-up call for a board that urgently needs to restore investor confidence in the wake of costly risk oversight failures,” said Scott M. Stringer, New York City Comptroller. Barry Dargan‘s Intermede Investment Partners reported a new stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) in its latest 13F filing, indicating a position that amounted to 38,008 shares valued at $17.9 million at the end of the first quarter.
On the next page we’ll take a look at the latest developments at General Electric and CA.