Although it’s the middle of earnings season, the markets are relatively quiet this morning. The VIX is below 13, and all three index futures are close to flat. In this article, we’ll find out why traders are particularly interested in five stocks today, those being UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH), Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG), Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), and Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON). We’ll also use SEC filings to see how the smart money is positioned among the five equities.
At Insider Monkey, we track around 765 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).
UnitedHealth Reports Earnings
UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) is in the spotlight today after the insurer beat both top and bottom-line expectations with its second quarter EPS of $1.96 on revenue of $46.49 billion. Analysts were expecting $1.89 per share on $45.05 billion in revenue. Guidance for the full 2016 year was for adjusted EPS of $7.80-to-$7.95 and GAAP EPS of $7.25-to-$7.40. Cash flow from operations was a respectable $1.7 billion for the quarter and UnitedHealth added 2.1 million people to its rolls. Cliff Asness‘ AQR Capital Management was long more than 3.2 million shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) at the end of the first quarter.
Philip Morris Misses the Mark
Shares of consumer staple Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) are off by 2% this morning after the company missed the mark with its second quarter results. For the period, Philip Morris earned $1.15 per share on revenue of $6.65 billion, missing estimates of $1.20 per share on sales of $6.77 billion. Overall revenue fell by 3.1% year-over-year due to the strong dollar and weaker Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa sales, which retreated by 9.9%. Total cigarette shipments fell by 4.8% year-over-year to $209.29 billion. Of the 766 active funds that we track, 48 of them owned $3.89 billion of Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) shares on March 31, up from 35 funds with $3.03 billion in holdings on December 31.
On the next page we’ll find out why traders are talking about Chipotle Mexican Grill, Baidu Inc, and Monsanto this morning.