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Mastercard Inc (MA): Hedge Funds Are Snapping Up

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Although the masses and most of the financial media blame hedge funds for their exorbitant fee structure and disappointing performance, these investors have proved to have great stock picking abilities over the years (that’s why their assets under management continue to swell). We believe hedge fund sentiment should serve as a crucial tool of an individual investor’s stock selection process, as it may offer great insights of how the brightest minds of the finance industry feel about specific stocks. After all, these people have access to smartest analysts and expensive data/information sources that individual investors can’t match. So should one consider investing in Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA)? The smart money sentiment can provide an answer to this question.

Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) investors should be aware of an increase in hedge fund sentiment of late. 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 Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY), China Life Insurance Company Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:LFC), and Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT) to gather more data points.

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At the moment there are several indicators shareholders use to size up publicly traded companies. Some of the most innovative indicators are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top money managers can outperform the S&P 500 by a healthy margin (see the details here).

Keeping this in mind, let’s take a peek at the recent action surrounding Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA).

How are hedge funds trading Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA)?

At the end of the third quarter, a total of 76 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, inching up by 1% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, Gardner Russo & Gardner, managed by Tom Russo, holds the biggest position in Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA). The fund  reportedly holds a $894.9 million position in the stock, comprising 8.1% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Stephen Mandel of Lone Pine Capital, with a $752 million position; the fund has 3.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedge funds and institutional investors with similar optimism encompass Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Charles Akre’s Akre Capital Management.

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