Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About Whirlpool Corporation (WHR) Anymore

At Insider Monkey, we pore over the filings of nearly 867 top investment firms every quarter, a process we have now completed for the latest reporting period. The data we’ve gathered as a result gives us access to a wealth of collective knowledge based on these firms’ portfolio holdings as of September 30th. In this article, we will use that wealth of knowledge to determine whether or not Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) makes for a good investment right now.

Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) was in 29 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2021. The all time high for this statistic is 38. WHR shareholders have witnessed a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds recently. There were 32 hedge funds in our database with WHR holdings at the end of June. Our calculations also showed that WHR isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings).

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, lithium prices have more than doubled over the past year, so we go through lists like the 10 best EV 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. With all of this in mind let’s go over the recent hedge fund action surrounding Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR).

Ken Heebner of Capital Growth Management

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

At the end of the third quarter, a total of 29 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -9% from one quarter earlier. On the other hand, there were a total of 28 hedge funds with a bullish position in WHR a year ago. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

More specifically, Greenhaven Associates was the largest shareholder of Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR), with a stake worth $564.5 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Greenhaven Associates was Lyrical Asset Management, which amassed a stake valued at $295.8 million. Markel Gayner Asset Management, AQR Capital Management, and Capital Growth 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 Greenhaven Associates allocated the biggest weight to Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR), around 18.82% of its 13F portfolio. Jones Road Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, dishing out 6.74 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to WHR.

Since Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) has faced declining sentiment from hedge fund managers, we can see that there was a specific group of hedgies who were dropping their entire stakes in the third quarter. At the top of the heap, Peter Avellone’s Cartenna Capital dumped the largest stake of the “upper crust” of funds monitored by Insider Monkey, totaling an estimated $6 million in stock, and Sander Gerber’s Hudson Bay Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund said goodbye to about $3.3 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 3 funds in the third quarter.

Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc (NYSE:SC), Aluminum Corp. of China Limited (NYSE:ACH), Kimco Realty Corp (NYSE:KIM), Floor & Decor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:FND), DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY), Korea Electric Power Corporation (NYSE:KEP), and AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL). This group of stocks’ market caps match WHR’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
SC 18 752098 -8
ACH 7 20331 3
KIM 21 152556 1
FND 33 1417942 5
XRAY 35 745567 0
KEP 3 22067 -1
UHAL 25 900713 4
Average 20.3 573039 0.6

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 20.3 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $573 million. That figure was $1134 million in WHR’s case. DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Korea Electric Power Corporation (NYSE:KEP) is the least popular one with only 3 bullish hedge fund positions. Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for WHR is 65.5. 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 28.6% in 2021 through November 30th and still beat the market by 5.6 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on WHR as the stock returned 7.5% since the end of Q3 (through 11/30) 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.