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Is AT&T Inc. (T) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

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The market has been volatile due to elections and the potential of another Federal Reserve rate increase. Small cap stocks have been on a tear, as the Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) has outperformed the larger S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by more than 10 percentage points since the end of June. SEC filings and hedge fund investor letters indicate that the smart money seems to be getting back in stocks, and the funds’ movements is one of the reasons why small-cap stocks are red hot. In this article, we analyze what the smart money thinks of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and find out how it is affected by hedge funds’ moves.

Is AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) a good investment right now? The smart money is taking a bearish view. The number of bullish hedge fund bets went down by 4 lately. At the end of this article we will also compare T to other stocks including Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) to get a better sense of its popularity.

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At Insider Monkey, we’ve developed an investment strategy that has delivered market-beating returns over the past 12 months. Our strategy identifies the 100 best-performing funds of the previous quarter from among the collection of 700+ successful funds that we track in our database, which we accomplish using our returns methodology. We then study the portfolios of those 100 funds using the latest 13F data to uncover the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks (market caps of between $1 billion and $10 billion) among them to hold until the next filing period. This strategy delivered 18% gains over the past 12 months, more than doubling the 8% returns enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs.

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Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a peek at the key action regarding AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T).

Hedge fund activity in AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)

At Q3’s end, a total of 51 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -7% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

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According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Soroban Capital Partners, managed by Eric W. Mandelblatt, holds the most valuable position in AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). Soroban Capital Partners has a $731.4 million call position in the stock, comprising 4.4% of its 13F portfolio. On Soroban Capital Partners’s heels is Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson of Adage Capital Management, with a $352.6 million position; 1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining members of the smart money that hold long positions comprise Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital Management, Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital and Ryan Frick and Oliver Evans’s Dorsal Capital Management.

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