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Hedge Funds Are Betting On Minerals Technologies Inc (MTX)

“Since 2006, value stocks (IVE vs IVW) have underperformed 11 of the 13 calendar years and when they beat growth, it wasn’t by much. Cumulatively, through this week, it has been a 122% differential (up 52% for value vs up 174% for growth). This appears to be the longest and most severe drought for value investors since data collection began. It will go our way eventually as there are too many people paying far too much for today’s darlings, both public and private. Further, the ten-year yield of 2.5% (pre-tax) isn’t attractive nor is real estate. We believe the value part of the global equity market is the only place to earn solid risk adjusted returns and we believe those returns will be higher than normal,” said Vilas Fund in its Q1 investor letter. We aren’t sure whether value stocks outperform growth, but we follow hedge fund investor letters to understand where the markets and stocks might be going. That’s why we believe it would be worthwhile to take a look at the hedge fund sentiment on Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX) in order to identify whether reputable and successful top money managers continue to believe in its potential.

Is Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX) a buy right now? The best stock pickers are becoming hopeful. The number of long hedge fund bets advanced by 2 recently. Our calculations also showed that MTX isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video below for Q2 rankings).
5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds
Video: Click the image to 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 has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the Russell 2000 ETFs by 40 percentage points since May 2014 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

Chuck Royce

Chuck Royce of Royce & Associates

We leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example Europe is set to become the world’s largest cannabis market, so we check out this European marijuana stock pitch. One of the most bullish analysts in America just put his money where his mouth is. He says, “I’m investing more today than I did back in early 2009.” So we check out his pitch. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. We also rely on the best performing hedge funds‘ buy/sell signals. Let’s take a gander at the new hedge fund action encompassing Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX).

Hedge fund activity in Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX)

At the end of the third quarter, a total of 17 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 13% from the second quarter of 2019. On the other hand, there were a total of 15 hedge funds with a bullish position in MTX a year ago. So, let’s find out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

More specifically, Royce & Associates was the largest shareholder of Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX), with a stake worth $60.7 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Royce & Associates was AQR Capital Management, which amassed a stake valued at $12.1 million. GAMCO Investors, Renaissance Technologies, and Millennium Management 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 Royce & Associates allocated the biggest weight to Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX), around 0.56% of its 13F portfolio. Quantinno Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 0.2 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to MTX.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, specific money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, initiated the most outsized position in Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX). Arrowstreet Capital had $3.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Donald Sussman’s Paloma Partners also made a $1 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Benjamin A. Smith’s Laurion Capital Management, Hoon Kim’s Quantinno Capital, and Paul Marshall and Ian Wace’s Marshall Wace.

Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX). These stocks are The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (NASDAQ:CAKE), Grupo Financiero Galicia S.A. (NASDAQ:GGAL), Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:PPBI), and Terex Corporation (NYSE:TEX). This group of stocks’ market valuations are similar to MTX’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
CAKE 22 116362 -3
GGAL 8 25672 -4
PPBI 8 45631 0
TEX 18 258694 3
Average 14 111590 -1

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 14 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $112 million. That figure was $107 million in MTX’s case. The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (NASDAQ:CAKE) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Grupo Financiero Galicia S.A. (NASDAQ:GGAL) is the least popular one with only 8 bullish hedge fund positions. Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. This is a slightly positive signal but we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 37.4% in 2019 through the end of November and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 9.9 percentage points. Unfortunately MTX wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on MTX were disappointed as the stock returned 1.8% during the fourth quarter (through the end of November) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market so far this year.

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

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