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Do Hedge Funds Love General Motors Company (GM)?

At the end of February we announced the arrival of the first US recession since 2009 and we predicted that the market will decline by at least 20% in (see why hell is coming). We reversed our stance on March 25th after seeing unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus unleashed by the Fed and the Congress. This is the perfect market for stock pickers, now that the stocks are fully valued again. In these volatile markets we scrutinize hedge fund filings to get a reading on which direction each stock might be going. In this article, we will take a closer look at hedge fund sentiment towards General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) at the end of the second quarter and determine whether the smart money was really smart about this stock.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) was in 69 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the second quarter of 2020. The all time high for this statistics is 88. GM has experienced an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds recently. There were 53 hedge funds in our database with GM holdings at the end of March. Our calculations also showed that GM isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q2 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks).

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 56 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that’ll significantly underperform the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 34% through August 17th. That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Boykin Curry EAGLE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

Boykin Curry of Eagle Capital

At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. Federal Reserve has been creating trillions of dollars electronically to keep the interest rates near zero. We believe this will lead to inflation and boost precious metals prices. So, we are checking out this junior gold mining stock.. We go through lists like the 10 most profitable companies in America to pick the best large-cap stocks to buy. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. If you want to find out the best healthcare stock to buy right now, you can watch our latest hedge fund manager interview here. With all of this in mind we’re going to take a peek at the new hedge fund action encompassing General Motors Company (NYSE:GM).

How have hedgies been trading General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)?

At second quarter’s end, a total of 69 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 30% from the first quarter of 2020. By comparison, 49 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in GM a year ago. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

Among these funds, Berkshire Hathaway held the most valuable stake in General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), which was worth $1889.4 million at the end of the third quarter. On the second spot was Eagle Capital Management which amassed $481.9 million worth of shares. Greenhaven Associates, Arrowstreet Capital, and Citadel Investment Group were also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Greenhaven Associates allocated the biggest weight to General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), around 7.88% of its 13F portfolio. Oldfield Partners is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 6.19 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to GM.

Now, specific money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Point72 Asset Management, managed by Steve Cohen, created the most outsized position in General Motors Company (NYSE:GM). Point72 Asset Management had $53.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Louis Bacon’s Moore Global Investments also made a $13.5 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Gregg Moskowitz’s Interval Partners, Seth Wunder’s Black-and-White Capital, and Javier Velazquez’s Albar Capital.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to General Motors Company (NYSE:GM). These stocks are Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ:EXC), Veeva Systems Inc (NYSE:VEEV), Eaton Corporation plc (NYSE:ETN), Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (NYSE:CP), Eni SpA (NYSE:E), and Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI). This group of stocks’ market values are similar to GM’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
EXC 30 772535 -3
VEEV 35 529727 2
ETN 34 560308 -1
LVS 47 2396746 5
CP 36 1635509 4
E 8 43125 3
KMI 50 1090828 3
Average 34.3 1004111 1.9

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 34.3 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1004 million. That figure was $4380 million in GM’s case. Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Eni SpA (NYSE:E) is the least popular one with only 8 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) is more popular among hedge funds. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for GM is 83.5. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Our calculations showed that top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks returned 28.2% in 2020 through August 24th but still managed to beat the market by 20.6 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on GM as the stock returned 19.8% since the end of June and outperformed the market by an even larger margin. Hedge funds were clearly right about piling into this stock relative to other stocks with similar market capitalizations.

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Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.