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Why Facebook, Gap, Twitter, and More Are In the Spotlight

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According to Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia plans to sell a stake of about 5% in all parts of Saudi Aramco’s business lines, and not just its distribution or refining operations. Contrary to some estimates, Saudi Arabia plans to launch the IPO in early-2018, not 2017 as some had expected.

In this article, we’ll find out why Helen of Troy Limited (NASDAQ:HELE), salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS), and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) are each in the headlines today and dig into the latest 13F data to uncover how the smart money is positioned in each of the stocks.

At Insider Monkey, we track around 750 hedge funds and institutional investors. Through extensive backtests, we have determined that imitating some of the stocks that these investors are collectively bullish on, can help retail investors generate double digits of alpha per year. The key is to focus on the small-cap picks of these funds, which are usually less followed by the broader market and allow for larger price inefficiencies (see the details here).

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Yesterday afternoon, Helen of Troy Limited (NASDAQ:HELE) reported EPS of $1.31 on revenue of $368.17 million for the second quarter of its fiscal year 2017, beating the consensus estimates by $0.17 per share and $3.07 million respectively. Sales inched lower by 0.3% year-over-year as disruption from Venezuela and the strong dollar weighed on its top-line. Consolidated gross margin jumped by 2.6 percentage points in the core business, while cash flow from operations came in at $44 million, more than triple the $14.4 million figure in the same period of its 2016 fiscal year. Helen of Troy’s management maintained their adjusted EPS guidance of $5.85-to-$6.50 for its full fiscal year. However, revenue for the same period is now expected to come in between $1.55 billion and $1.59 billion, down from the previous $1.57 billion-to-$1.62 billion estimate. Jim Simons‘ Renaissance Technologies raised its stake in Helen of Troy Limited (NASDAQ:HELE) by 53% in the second quarter, to 178,310 shares on June 30.

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After falling by more than 20% on Thursday due to the news that Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) aren’t in the running in terms of bidding, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) remains in the spotlight. The other potential suitor for the company, salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM), has seen its stock move sharply on speculation that it might offer to buy the social media company; first down sharply on Wednesday on speculation that it would bid, then up by 4% on Thursday on the news that it might not.

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If salesforce.com makes an offer, some investors think its stock could fall substantially from current levels. On the other hand, it is not guaranteed that Salesforce will bid, as Fox Business reporter Charles Gasparino tweeted out:

“@salesforce @Benioff facing pressure from his own execs AND investors to rebuff poss $twtr deal more NOW”

Besides salesforce.com, some investors think there could be potential darkhorse buyers that might pop up. If the bids are not high enough, Twitter may decide to continue going it alone.

Of the 749 hedge funds that we track which filed 13Fs for the June quarter, 60 owned shares of salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) on June 30, while exactly half as many were shareholders of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR).

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On the next page we’ll find out why Gap and Facebook are trending this morning.

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