Hedge Funds Are Souring On Compass Minerals International, Inc. (CMP)

A whopping number of 13F filings filed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been processed by Insider Monkey so that individual investors can look at the overall hedge fund sentiment towards the stocks included in their watchlists. These freshly-submitted public filings disclose money managers’ equity positions as of the end of the three-month period that ended September 30, so let’s proceed with the discussion of the hedge fund sentiment on Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP).

Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP) investors should pay attention to a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers lately. CMP was in 13 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. There were 16 hedge funds in our database with CMP holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that CMP 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.

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How have hedgies been trading Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP)?

At Q3’s end, a total of 13 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -19% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards CMP over the last 17 quarters. So, let’s review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

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The largest stake in Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP) was held by 40 North Management, which reported holding $71.5 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Cove Street Capital with a $40.5 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Citadel Investment Group, Harvest Capital Strategies, and Lodge Hill Capital. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Harvest Capital Strategies allocated the biggest weight to Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP), around 6.52% of its 13F portfolio. 40 North Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, dishing out 6.39 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to CMP.

Judging by the fact that Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP) has experienced falling interest from the smart money, logic holds that there was a specific group of hedgies who were dropping their full holdings in the third quarter. Intriguingly, Paul Marshall and Ian Wace’s Marshall Wace sold off the biggest stake of the “upper crust” of funds tracked by Insider Monkey, worth an estimated $4.6 million in stock. Wallace Weitz’s fund, Wallace R. Weitz & Co., also dropped its stock, about $4.1 million worth. These bearish behaviors are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 3 funds in the third quarter.

Let’s now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Horace Mann Educators Corporation (NYSE:HMN), LGI Homes Inc (NASDAQ:LGIH), The RealReal, Inc. (NASDAQ:REAL), and Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AGIO). All of these stocks’ market caps match CMP’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
HMN 13 35454 1
LGIH 14 130437 2
REAL 20 83144 -13
AGIO 17 103178 -1
Average 16 88053 -2.75

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 16 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $88 million. That figure was $140 million in CMP’s case. The RealReal, Inc. (NASDAQ:REAL) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Horace Mann Educators Corporation (NYSE:HMN) is the least popular one with only 13 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP) is even less popular than HMN. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards CMP. Our calculations showed that the top 20 most popular hedge fund stocks returned 37.4% in 2019 through the end of November and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 9.9 percentage points. Unfortunately CMP wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); CMP investors were disappointed as the stock returned -0.9% 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 70 percent of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in Q4.

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