Hedge Funds Are Crazy About B. Riley Financial, Inc. (RILY)

In this article we will analyze whether B. Riley Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:RILY) is a good investment right now by following the lead of some of the best investors in the world and piggybacking their ideas. There’s no better way to get these firms’ immense resources and analytical capabilities working for us than to follow their lead into their best ideas. While not all of these picks will be winners, our research shows that these picks historically outperformed the market by double digits annually.

B. Riley Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:RILY) was in 25 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2021. The all time high for this statistic was previously 19. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. RILY has seen an increase in hedge fund sentiment of late. There were 16 hedge funds in our database with RILY positions at the end of the fourth quarter. Our calculations also showed that RILY isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings).

At the moment there are a multitude of gauges stock traders can use to assess publicly traded companies. Two of the most underrated gauges are hedge fund and insider trading interest. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top money managers can outpace the market by a healthy margin (see the details here). Also, our monthly newsletter’s portfolio of long stock picks returned 206.8% since March 2017 (through May 2021) and beat the S&P 500 Index by more than 115 percentage points. You can download a sample issue of this newsletter on our website .

Wil Harkey Nantahala Capital

Wil Harkey of Nantahala Capital Management

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, economists warn of inflation flare up. So, we are checking out this backdoor gold play that has hit peak gains of 718% in a little over a year. We go through lists like the 10 best battery stocks to pick the next Tesla that will deliver a 10x return. 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. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our homepage. Keeping this in mind we’re going to view the latest hedge fund action regarding B. Riley Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:RILY).

Do Hedge Funds Think RILY Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?

At the end of March, a total of 25 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 56% from one quarter earlier. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in RILY over the last 23 quarters. So, let’s examine which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Among these funds, Royce & Associates held the most valuable stake in B. Riley Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:RILY), which was worth $44.1 million at the end of the fourth quarter. On the second spot was Nokomis Capital which amassed $28.3 million worth of shares. Tudor Investment Corp, Ophir Asset Management, and Azora Capital 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 Nokomis Capital allocated the biggest weight to B. Riley Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:RILY), around 12.27% of its 13F portfolio. Ophir Asset Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 3.45 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to RILY.

As one would reasonably expect, some big names have been driving this bullishness. Ophir Asset Management, managed by Steven Ng and Andrew Mitchell, assembled the most outsized position in B. Riley Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:RILY). Ophir Asset Management had $17.1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Wilmot B. Harkey and Daniel Mack’s Nantahala Capital Management also made a $5.7 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Parsa Kiai’s Steamboat Capital Partners, Travis Cocke’s Voss Capital, and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to B. Riley Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:RILY). We will take a look at SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL), AlloVir, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALVR), trivago N.V. (NASDAQ:TRVG), Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK), Silverback Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBTX), Ranpak Holdings Corp (NYSE:PACK), and Uniqure NV (NASDAQ:QURE). This group of stocks’ market caps are closest to RILY’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
STKL 21 633044 7
ALVR 9 121353 1
TRVG 10 84965 2
WMK 12 47154 1
SBTX 19 707651 -5
PACK 14 651146 1
QURE 25 340984 -10
Average 15.7 369471 -0.4

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 15.7 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $369 million. That figure was $189 million in RILY’s case. Uniqure NV (NASDAQ:QURE) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand AlloVir, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALVR) is the least popular one with only 9 bullish hedge fund positions. B. Riley Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:RILY) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for RILY is 90. 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 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 95.8% in 2019 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 40 percentage points. These stocks gained 24% in 2021 through July 9th and still beat the market by 6.7 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on RILY as the stock returned 32.8% since the end of Q1 (through 7/9) and outperformed the market. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.

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