The markets are recuperating on Thursday, with all major U.S stock indexes, alongside oil, trading slightly up after a rough week. Among the stocks driving the market gains, we can count W W Grainger Inc (NYSE:GWW), Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX), Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (NYSE:ATW), Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD), and Royal Gold, Inc USA) (NASDAQ:RGLD). Let’s take a look into the events behind the advances in these stocks, and into what the hedge funds in our database think about those companies.
Hedge fund sentiment is an important metric for assessing long-term profitability. At Insider Monkey, we track over 700 hedge funds, whose quarterly 13F filings we analyze to determine their collective sentiment towards several thousand stocks. However, our research has shown that the best strategy is to follow hedge funds into their small-cap picks. This approach can allow monthly returns of nearly 95 basis points above the market, as we determined through extensive backtests covering the period between 1999 and 2012 (read more details here).
Back to Thursday’s gainers, let’s start with W W Grainger Inc (NYSE:GWW), which is trading up by more than 5.6% in the early afternoon. The company started trading ex-dividend today; on March 1st, shareholders who purchased the stock before the ex-dividend date will be paid a cash dividend of $1.17 per share on March 1.
Among the funds in our database, the largest beneficiary will be David Blood and Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management, which reported ownership of 1.35 million shares of W W Grainger Inc (NYSE:GWW), worth about $290 million as of the end of September. The stake accounted for about 2.15% of the company’s total shares outstanding.
Next up is integrated mining company Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX), which is up by almost 16% in the afternoon hours. Some analysts have attributed the surge in the stock to the weaker U.S dollar, which makes U.S products cheaper for international buyers, which benefits materials companies in particular.
On the next page we will take a look at the reasons behind the rises seen in Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (NYSE:ATW), Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD), and Royal Gold, Inc USA) (NASDAQ:RGLD).