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Bulls Drove These 5 Stocks to 52-Week Highs Yesterday

Although the S&P 500 and Dow Jones index have stumbled in recent weeks, sentiment has remained extremely bullish for iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT), Shutterstock Inc (NYSE:SSTK), Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG), Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK), and U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA), all of which hit 52-week highs yesterday.

In this article, we take a closer look at why the five companies are on the upswing right now and see what the smart money thinks of each stock using the latest 13F data.

Our backtests that covered the period between 1999 and 2012, showed that following the 15 most popular small-caps among hedge funds can help a retail investor beat the market by an average of 95 basis points per month (see the details here).

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iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT) made a 52-week high of $41.51 yesterday as bulls remain optimistic on the company’s core Roomba demand as well as the company’s wet-floor care products. Although the stock isn’t cheap, with a forward P/E of 23.41, analysts are expecting a lot of growth ahead, as they have an average 5-year EPS growth estimate of 18% per year. If the company can also introduce another hit product during that time, iRobot’s growth could be even better. Willem Mesdag‘s Red Mountain Capital cut its stake in iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT) by 43% in the second quarter to just under 1.03 million shares as of June 30.

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One of the best performing stocks on the market, Shutterstock Inc (NYSE:SSTK), did even better yesterday, hitting a 52-week high of $63.53. Due to Tuesday’s rally, shares of the digital imagery service have soared by 94.53% year-to-date. One reason investors like the stock so much is that the company has one of the broadest collections of commercial imagery available, with Shutterstock’s collection recently passing the 100 million-image mark. The more high-quality images that Shutterstock has, the more competitive its offering is versus that of peers. The smart money wasn’t very bullish on Shutterstock at the end of June. According to our database of 749 funds that filed 13Fs for the June quarter, just seven of them were long shares of Shutterstock Inc (NYSE:SSTK) at the end of the second quarter, down by five funds from the end of the previous quarter.

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On the next page, we’ll find out why Procter & Gamble, Autodesk, and US Silica Holdings blasted to 52-week highs on Tuesday.

In this bull market, even boring stocks such as Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG) are doing well. Shares of the consumer staple hit a 52-week high of $88.95 per share on Tuesday, as many investors likely purchased the stock for its annual dividend of $2.68 per share, good for a 3.02% annual yield. Given Procter & Gamble’s long history of dividend hikes and its very durable and predictable income streams, P&G’s dividend is about as safe as it can get. As long as P&G’s dividend increases every year, many of the company’s investors will be happy; any capital appreciation will just be an added bonus. 56 funds in our system owned $5.54 billion in Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG) positions at the end of June.

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Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) blasted its way to a 52-week high of $69.57 yesterday, as many investors likely bought the stock in anticipation of the company buying back its stock in the future. On Monday, Autodesk announced a new program to buy back up to 30 million shares of common stock, in addition to its existing buyback program, which has around 1.5 million shares remaining under it. In the first half of its fiscal year 2017, Autodesk repurchased around 4.8 million shares at an average price of $56.20. The number of funds that we track with holdings in Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) fell by two during the second quarter to 35 as of the end of June.

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After a sharp and painful decline in late-2014 and throughout 2015, U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA) has made a comeback this year. Shares of the fracking sand producer hit a 52-week high of $43.70 per share yesterday, as many investors anticipate an eventual recovery in the energy market. If crude prices normalize, shale activity in the Permian and elsewhere will require a lot of fracking sand and U.S. Silica Holdings, as one of the leading fracking sand companies, will likely ring up solid business as a result. 31 funds were bullish on U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA) at the end of the second quarter.

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