The markets are recuperating on Tuesday, with all major U.S stock indexes trading up in the morning hours. Among the stocks driving the surges were SGOCO Group Ltd (NASDAQ:SGOC), Firstmerit Corp (NASDAQ:FMER), Swift Transportation Co (NYSE:SWFT), Sprint Corp (NYSE:S), and Coach Inc (NYSE:COH), all of which were up by double digits in the early afternoon. Let’s take a look into the events that prompted the spike in these stocks, and into what the funds in our database think about the companies.
Out of thousands of stocks that are trading on the market every day, it can be difficult sometimes to pick the right investment that can deliver market-beating returns. Here’s where our research comes in. By analyzing the equity portfolios of 700+ top investors, we can see what stocks they are collectively bullish on and use this data to compile a portfolio that can outperform the market. We have determined through this process that the best strategy is to follow the 15 most popular small-cap picks among hedge funds, which have delivered an alpha of around 81 basis points per month in our backtests covering the period between 1999 and 2012 (see more details).
Back to the stocks that interest us, let’s start with the largest gainer – and smallest company, SGOCO Group Ltd (NASDAQ:SGOC). The nano-cap tech company performed a 1:4 reverse stock split on Monday, which led to the stock rising by 30.77% over the day. It seems like the market appreciates the stock consolidation, as today shares have continued to surge, gaining more than 32%. This equates to a two-day spike of more than 80%.
Also impacting positively on SGOCO Group Ltd (NASDAQ:SGOC)’s stock seems to be a new exclusive agreement that one of the company’s subsidiaries signed with Macau Jinyi Technology Co., Ltd., to develop and market its products in Macau, China.
Next up is Firstmerit Corp (NASDAQ:FMER), a small-cap U.S. bank holding company that is up by over 16.7% this afternoon. The firm released its quarterly financial results in the morning, however this was not the main element behind the marked ascent in its stock price. The primary driver behind this advance was the announcement of an agreement by which Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ:HBAN) will acquire the company for approximately $3.4 billion in cash and stock. Shareholders of the purchased bank will receive 1.72 shares of Huntington’s common stock and $5 in cash for each share of Firstmerit that they own.
Among the hedge funds that will soon become Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ:HBAN) shareholders, should they decide not to sell their stakes in Firstmerit Corp (NASDAQ:FMER) now that the stock is up by double digits, is Israel Englander’s Millennium Management. Over the third quarter, the firm more than tripled its position in Firstmerit, taking its holding to 713,404 shares, while disposing all of its 2.21 million shares of Huntington. Now it seems like the latter will see a big hedge fund backer return to the fold.
On the next page, we will take a look at the news driving the surges in the shares of Swift Transportation Co (NYSE:SWFT), Sprint Corp (NYSE:S), and Coach Inc (NYSE:COH).