The markets opened on a positive note today, shaking off the negative trend of recent trading sessions, despite the World Trade Organization announcing the slashing of its 2016 world trade growth forecast to 1.7%. That would represent the lowest rate since the global financial crisis.
Several stocks are spurring the market to action this morning, including Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Carnival Corp (NYSE:CCL), Casella Waste Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CWST), CEL-SCI Corporation (NYSEMKT:CVM), and Edison International (NYSE:EIX). In this article, we’ll take a look at the news behind the movement in these stocks and see what successful hedge funds think of them.
We determine hedge fund sentiment by analyzing the equity portfolios of some of the best-performing hedge funds and institutional investors. Through extensive research, we have determined that the due diligence that these investors employ, as well as their long-term focus makes them perfect targets to emulate. However, the results of our analysis have also showed that the small-cap picks of these funds can generate much better returns, with the 15 most popular small-cap stocks beating the market by an average of 95 basis points per month (see more details).
Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) announced today that it will slash its headcount in Asia. The investment banking company has decided to take the step to curtail its expenses. Bank of America plans to cut about a dozen senior positions in the region for the second time this year. Investment banks are facing pressure from higher regulatory costs and a slowdown in many regional economies. Among the hedge funds that we track, 102 funds held $5.28 billion worth of Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)’s stock at the end of June, having amassed 3.90% of its outstanding stock, down from 110 investors with $5.52 billion worth of stock a quarter earlier.
Carnival Corp (NYSE:CCL) has gained nearly 4% today after it bumped its earnings guidance, reporting a 17% increase in fiscal third quarter profit. The company reported net income of $1.4 billion, up from the $1.2 billion that it earned for the same quarter of its previous fiscal year. Its adjusted earnings per share stood at $1.92, beating the FactSet consensus mark of $1.89. Carnival also increased its fiscal 2016 adjusted earnings per share guidance to a range of $3.33-to-$3.37, from the previous range of $3.25-to-$3.35. The number of funds in our database long Carnival Corp amounted to 31 at the end of June, with the total value of their holdings standing at $837 million. Those figures were well down from $1.42 billion in Carnival Corp (NYSE:CCL) positions being held by 48 funds at the end of March.
We have the latest on three more market movers on the next page.
Casella Waste Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CWST) shares are 2% in the green after it received a Corporate Family Rating upgrade from Moody’s, to B2 from B3. Moody’s also assigned a B1 rating to Casella’s proposed $150 million revolving credit facility and $350 million term loan B. The update comes a day after Casella announced that it would meet with prospective lenders today to enter into the aforementioned agreements. The proceeds from the refinancing will allow the company to redeem all of its outstanding 7.75% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2019, as well as allow the repayment in full of its existing senior secured asset-based revolving credit and letter of credit facility. 15 hedge funds in our database have long positions in Casella Waste Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CWST) as of June 30, with their total holdings valued at $68 million and accounting for 21.10% of Casella Waste Systems’ outstanding stock.
CEL-SCI Corporation (NYSEMKT:CVM) shares have crumbled by more than 41% after reported that it has received a verbal notice from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about its Multikine (Leukocyte Interleukin Injection) Phase 3 clinical trial, which has been placed on clinical hold. The company reported that the trial was being carried out to test the efficacy of the treatment in combating advanced primary head and neck cancer. The company is expected to receive a formal letter from the FDA within the next 30 days. Six hedge funds that we track were long $4.20 million worth of CEL-SCI Corporation (NYSEMKT:CVM) shares as of the end of June.
Edison International (NYSE:EIX) announced the acquisition of 22 community solar garden development projects in Minnesota from SunEdison. The acquisition will be done through SoCore Energy, which is a subsidiary of Edison International. The deal has been approved with an order from the US Bankruptcy Court in New York, for a total price of up to $79.8 million, subject to conditions. Shares of Edison International are down moderately in morning trading. 20 hedge funds in our database owned shares of Edison International (NYSE:EIX) on June 30, down from 25 on March 31.