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Why Investors Are Buzzing About ConAgra, Apple, eBay, and Two Other Stocks Today

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Crude futures are in the green again as some short traders cover their positions after yesterday’s surprise OPEC announcement. Meanwhile, the three major indexes are moderately lower as profit taking outweighed solid GDP and initial claims releases.

In this article, we will find out why ConAgra Foods Inc (NYSE:CAG), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB), and CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) are in the spotlight today. Moreover, we will use data from the last round of 13F filings to see what the smart money investors tracked by Insider Monkey think about the companies in question.

Hedge fund sentiment is an important metric for assessing the long-term profitability. At Insider Monkey, we track over 740 hedge funds, whose quarterly 13F filings we analyze and 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 (see the details here).

Ellica / Shutterstock.com

Ellica / Shutterstock.com

ConAgra Foods Inc (NYSE:CAG) shares have surged by 8% after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for its fiscal first quarter. For the time period, ConAgra posted earnings of $0.61 per share, beating the average estimate by $0.13 per share. Revenue came in at $2.67 billion, missing the consensus estimate by $60 million. A big reason for the earnings beat and the revenue miss was ConAgra’s decision to focus on higher quality sales. Due to management’s focus, gross margin inched up 200 basis points year-over-year to 27.3% and adjusted segment operating margin jumped 390 basis points year-over-year to 17.6%. Barry Rosenstein’s JANA Partners owned just over 18 million shares of ConAgra Foods Inc (NYSE:CAG) on June 30, down by 17% over the quarter.

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in the red after Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz trimmed his price target on the stock to $114 from $115 per share, and removed the ‘Top Pick’ designation on the stock. The analyst cited Barclay’s market research, which showed that the overall 2016 smartphone market revenue might inch lower by around 2.9%, down from the previous estimate of sales retreating just 0.7%. If the broader market is still tepid, it will be harder for Apple to grow. However, Moskowtiz reaffirmed his ‘Overweight’ rating on the stock. Among the funds that we track, 116 were long Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) at the end of June, down by 36 funds from the previous quarter.

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Turn to the next page to check out why investors are buzzing about eBay Inc, Viacom Inc, and CBS Corporation.

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