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How Alliance Data Systems Corporation (ADS) Stacks Up Against Its Peers

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After a lengthy stretch of outperformance, small-cap stocks suffered from July 2015 through June 2016, as heightened global economic fears led investors to flee to the safe havens of large-cap stocks and other instruments. Those stocks outperformed small-caps by about 10 percentage points during that time, with small-cap healthcare stocks being particularly hard hit. However, the tide has since turned in a big way, as evidenced by small-caps toppling their large-cap peers by 5 percentage points in the third quarter, and by another 5 percentage points in the first seven weeks of the fourth quarter. In this article, we’ll analyze how this shift affected hedge funds’ Q3 trading of Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE:ADS) and see how the stock is affected by the recent hedge fund activity.

Is Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE:ADS) a buy right now? The smart money is taking a pessimistic view. The number of long hedge fund positions were cut by 1 recently. 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 Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE:MSI), Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX), and Cenovus Energy Inc (USA) (NYSE:CVE) to gather more data points.

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What does the smart money think about Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE:ADS)?

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2016, a total of 32 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a drop of 3% from the second quarter of 2016, and the second straight quarter with a slight dip in ownership. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

HedgeFundSentimentChart

When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, ValueAct Capital, managed by Jeffrey Ubben, holds the most valuable position in Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE:ADS). According to regulatory filings, the fund has a $1.07 billion position in the stock, comprising 9.3% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, which holds a $48.4 million position. Some other hedge funds and institutional investors that are bullish contain Neil Chriss’ Hutchin Hill Capital, Richard McGuire’s Marcato Capital Management, and Paul Tudor Jones’ Tudor Investment Corp.

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