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How HealthSouth Corp (HLS) Stacks Up Against Its Peers

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We have been waiting for this for a year and finally the third quarter ended up showing a nice bump in the performance of small-cap stocks. Both the S&P 500 and Russell 2000 were up since the end of the second quarter, but small-cap stocks outperformed the large-cap stocks by double digits. This is important for hedge funds, which are big supporters of small-cap stocks, because their investors started pulling some of their capital out due to poor recent performance. It is very likely that equity hedge funds will deliver better risk adjusted returns in the second half of this year. In this article we are going to look at how this recent market trend affected the sentiment of hedge funds towards HealthSouth Corp (NYSE:HLS), and what that likely means for the prospects of the company and its stock.

HealthSouth Corp (NYSE:HLS) was in 22 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. HLS shareholders have witnessed a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money of late. There were 25 hedge funds in our database with HLS 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 Leidos Holdings Inc (NYSE:LDOS), ONE Gas Inc (NYSE:OGS), and Endo Health Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:ENDP) to gather more data points.

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How are hedge funds trading HealthSouth Corp (NYSE:HLS)?

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2016, a total of 22 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a drop of 12% from one quarter earlier. Nonetheless, smart money ownership remains solid after many funds jumped in during Q2. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

HedgeFundSentimentChart

Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Larry Robbins’ Glenview Capital has the largest position in HealthSouth Corp (NYSE:HLS), worth close to $290.9 million, amounting to 2.1% of its total 13F portfolio. On Glenview Capital’s heels is Arthur B Cohen and Joseph Healey of Healthcor Management LP, with a $66.9 million position; the fund has 4.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other peers with similar optimism consist of Mariko Gordon’s Daruma Asset Management and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

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