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Hedge Funds Are Buying Kirby Corporation (KEX)

After several tireless days we have finished crunching the numbers from nearly 750 13F filings issued by the elite hedge funds and other investment firms that we track at Insider Monkey, which disclosed those firms’ equity portfolios as of June 28. The results of that effort will be put on display in this article, as we share valuable insight into the smart money sentiment towards Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX).

Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX) investors should be aware of an increase in support from the world’s most elite money managers of late. Our calculations also showed that KEX isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (view the video below).
5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds
Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

In the financial world there are a large number of tools investors have at their disposal to grade stocks. A pair of the most under-the-radar tools are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a solid amount. Insider Monkey’s flagship best performing hedge funds strategy returned 25.8% year to date (through May 30th) and outperformed the market even though it draws its stock picks among small-cap stocks. This strategy also outperformed the market by 40 percentage points since its inception (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is a useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

KEX_oct2019

Let’s check out the recent hedge fund action regarding Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX).

How are hedge funds trading Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX)?

Heading into the third quarter of 2019, a total of 23 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 21% from the first quarter of 2019. By comparison, 18 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in KEX a year ago. So, let’s review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Chuck Royce

More specifically, Diamond Hill Capital was the largest shareholder of Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX), with a stake worth $187.5 million reported as of the end of March. Trailing Diamond Hill Capital was Slate Path Capital, which amassed a stake valued at $107.8 million. Royce & Associates, Impala Asset Management, and Polar Capital were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.

As one would reasonably expect, key money managers have jumped into Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX) headfirst. Impala Asset Management, managed by Robert Bishop, established the biggest position in Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX). Impala Asset Management had $63.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Robert Pohly’s Samlyn Capital also initiated a $17.6 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new KEX investors: Richard S. Meisenberg’s ACK Asset Management, Brian Gootzeit and Andrew Frank’s StackLine Partners, and Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX). These stocks are PS Business Parks Inc (NYSE:PSB), Integra Lifesciences Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:IART), National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE:NFG), and Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL). All of these stocks’ market caps are similar to KEX’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
PSB 14 62359 2
IART 21 165189 2
NFG 22 241410 6
WAL 27 294906 -1
Average 21 190966 2.25

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 21 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $191 million. That figure was $630 million in KEX’s case. Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand PS Business Parks Inc (NYSE:PSB) is the least popular one with only 14 bullish hedge fund positions. Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 24.4% in 2019 through September 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 4 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on KEX, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned 4% during the third quarter and outperformed the market as well.

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

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