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Is Northstar Realty Finance Corp. (NRF) A Good Stock To Buy?

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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 Northstar Realty Finance Corp. (NYSE:NRF), and what that likely means for the prospects of the company and its stock.

Northstar Realty Finance Corp. (NYSE:NRF)’s shares haven’t seen a lot of action during the third quarter. Overall, the hedge fund sentiment was unchanged and the stock was included in the equity portfolios of 32 funds from our database at the end of September. At the end of this article we will also compare NRF to other stocks including Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc (NYSE:APAM), and Verint Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:VRNT) to get a better sense of its popularity.

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Now, let’s view the key action surrounding Northstar Realty Finance Corp. (NYSE:NRF).

How are hedge funds trading Northstar Realty Finance Corp. (NYSE:NRF)?

As stated earlier, heading into the fourth quarter of 2016, 32 funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, unchanged over the quarter. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes meaningfully (or already accumulated large positions).

HedgeFundSentimentChart

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Richard Mashaal’s Rima Senvest Management has the largest position in Northstar Realty Finance Corp. (NYSE:NRF), worth close to $76.5 million, amounting to 5.5% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group, with a $72.4 million position; the fund has 1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other professional money managers that hold long positions consist of David Abrams’ Abrams Capital Management, Wayne Cooperman’s Cobalt Capital Management, and Philip Hempleman’s Ardsley Partners.

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