We find evil companies to be a very rewarding hunting ground to uncover long-term stock winners. In our opinion companies like Philip Morris (PM), Facebook (FB), Apple Inc. (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOGL) are evil companies that delivered 1000% or more gains to their investors. These companies thrive at the expense of their clients. Philip Morris slowly kills its customers. Facebook enslaves more than 2 billion users who provide free content for the media giant and reveal intimate personal details which are then used to display targeted advertisements to these people. Apple tries every little trick in the book to get its captivated users spend hundreds of dollars on products/features that are available at a fraction of Apple’s prices elsewhere. Apple and Google also force app and content developers to pay an arm and a leg to bring their services to Apple users. Finally Google uses its search algorithm as a weapon to force internet companies pay for traffic which they used to get for free.
In this article we are going to look at another set of evil companies that use high pressure sales tactics to trick consumers into signing complex long-term contracts that they don’t understand: timeshare marketing companies. Check out this Reddit post where the user is asking several questions about Wyndham timeshare cancellation. This person was able to cancel and receive a full refund, but many consumers don’t cancel within the 7-day or 10-day window specified in their contracts.
A few years ago NY Times published an article about Diamond Resorts International which is currently owned by a private equity firm. Here is an excerpt from the article:
“But two lawsuits filed against Diamond suggest a less solicitous attitude, one that reflects the experience of Ms. Gutierrez in Lake Tahoe. One case was filed in October 2014 in California. In it, 11 timeshare owners said they had agreed to pay to upgrade their membership in the Diamond resorts. After the upgrade, the lawsuit says, the members were unable to use the resorts they had hoped to and their maintenance fees rose even though Diamond’s representatives had told them they would fall.
A Florida lawsuit filed in March 2015 said that Diamond tried to pressure the plaintiffs to upgrade to what amounted to “programs to fleece more and more money out of the plaintiffs.””
High pressure sales tactics is the standard operating procedure in this industry and timeshare companies are in a constant battle with “timeshare exit companies” that are in business to get consumers out of their timeshare contracts.
Timeshare sales usually plunge during recessions as consumers first cut vacation spending and timeshare stocks get extremely cheap. If you don’t mind experiencing some short-term gain, you might enjoy triple digit returns over a 2-5 year investment horizon by investing in this industry today. In this article we will reveal the names of the 4 most popular timeshare companies among hedge funds.
Insider Monkey tracks more than 800 hedge funds. We just finished processing 13F stock holdings of these hedge funds and identified the names of the 4 most popular timeshare companies. Here is our list in descending order:
4. Bluegreen Vacations Corporation (BXG): 8 Hedge Funds
BXG is in the portfolios of 8 hedge funds. This is a micro-cap stock with very limited hedge fund enthusiasm. The biggest hedge fund shareholder is activist Fred DiSanto’s Ancora Advisors. DiSanto had only $683 thousand invested in this stock at the end of June.
3. Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation (VAC): 24 Hedge Funds
VAC is the portfolios of 24 hedge funds. The total value of hedge fund holdings in this stock was $381 million at the end of June. Hedge funds collectively owned more than 11% of VAC’s outstanding shares. Value investor Richard Mashaal is the most bullish fund manager with a $113 million investment in VAC.
2. Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. (HGV): 30 Hedge Funds
HGV is in the portfolios of 30 hedge funds. The total value of hedge fund holdings in this stock was $555 million at the end of June. Hedge funds collectively owned more than a third of this stock’s outstanding shares. Richard Mashaal is the fifth largest hedge fund holder with a $53 million position. Zimmer Partners is the most bullish hedge fund on HGV, owning 8.3% of the timeshare company.
1. Wyndham Destinations, Inc. (WYND): 34 Hedge Funds
WYND is the most popular timeshare stock among hedge funds. The total value of the hedge fund positions in this stock was $435 million, corresponding to 18.1% of the stock’s outstanding shares. Richard Mashaal has $95 million invested in WYND, slightly behind Iridian Asset Management’s $126 million investment.
As you can see Rima Senvest’s Richard Mashaal sees long-term potential in these beaten down timeshare stocks. You can create a free account on our website to track the moves of Richard Mashaal and know when to sell these stocks. If you are looking for more mainstream investment ideas, you can check out the list of 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.
Disclosure: No positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article.