At Insider Monkey we track the activity of some of the best-performing hedge funds like Appaloosa Management, Baupost, and Third Point because we determined that some of the stocks that they are collectively bullish on can help us generate returns above the broader indices. Out of thousands of stocks that hedge funds invest in, small-caps can provide the best returns over the long term due to the fact that these companies are less efficiently priced and are usually under the radars of mass-media, analysts and dumb money. This is why we follow the smart money moves in the small-cap space.
Is W.R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB) a buy, sell, or hold? The smart money is undeniably actually taking a pessimistic view. The number of long hedge fund positions were trimmed by 5 lately. WRB was in 13 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. There were 18 hedge funds in our database with WRB holdings at the end of the previous quarter. The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as Sociedad Quimica y Minera (ADR) (NYSE:SQM), CoStar Group Inc (NASDAQ:CSGP), and Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP) to gather more data points.
We follow over 700 hedge funds and other institutional investors and by analyzing their quarterly 13F filings, we identify stocks that they are collectively bullish on and develop investment strategies based on this data. One strategy that outperformed the market over the last year involves selecting the 100 best-performing funds and identifying the 30 mid-cap stocks that they are collectively most bullish on. Over the past year, this strategy generated returns of 18%, topping the 8% gain registered by S&P 500 ETFs. We launched this strategy 2.5 years ago and it returned more than 39% since then, vs. 22% gain registered by the S&P 500 ETFs.
With all of this in mind, we’re going to take a peek at the latest action surrounding W.R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB).
Hedge fund activity in W.R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB)
At the end of the third quarter, a total of 13 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, down 28% from the second quarter of 2016. On the other hand, there were a total of 21 hedge funds with a bullish position in WRB at the beginning of this year. So, let’s review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.
According to Insider Monkey’s hedge fund database, Boykin Curry’s Eagle Capital Management has the biggest position in W.R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB), worth close to $414.1 million, accounting for 1.8% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Dmitry Balyasny of Balyasny Asset Management, with a $34.5 million position; the fund has 0.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedge funds and institutional investors that hold long positions encompass Richard Chilton’s Chilton Investment Company, Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management. We should note that none of these hedge funds are among our list of the 100 best performing hedge funds which is based on the performance of their 13F long positions in non-microcap stocks.