Hedge Funds Have Never Been More Bullish On Hill International Inc (HIL)

Insider Monkey has processed numerous 13F filings of hedge funds and successful investors to create an extensive database of hedge fund holdings. The 13F filings show the hedge funds’ and successful investors’ positions as of the end of the first quarter. You can find write-ups about an individual hedge fund’s trades on numerous financial news websites. However, in this article we will take a look at their collective moves and analyze what the smart money thinks of Hill International Inc (NYSE:HIL) based on that data.

Hedge fund interest in Hill International Inc (NYSE:HIL) shares was flat at the end of last quarter. This is usually a negative indicator. At the end of this article we will also compare HIL to other stocks including Turtle Beach Corp (NASDAQ:HEAR), Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:EKSO), and Ultralife Corp. (NASDAQ:ULBI) to get a better sense of its popularity.

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.

Arnaud Ajdler Engine Capital

Arnaud Ajdler Engine Capital

We’re going to review the fresh hedge fund action encompassing Hill International Inc (NYSE:HIL).

Hedge fund activity in Hill International Inc (NYSE:HIL)

Heading into the second quarter of 2019, a total of 13 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 0% from one quarter earlier. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in HIL over the last 15 quarters. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were adding to their stakes meaningfully (or already accumulated large positions).

No of Hedge Funds with HIL Positions

Among these funds, Engine Capital held the most valuable stake in Hill International Inc (NYSE:HIL), which was worth $16.2 million at the end of the first quarter. On the second spot was Ancora Advisors which amassed $10.3 million worth of shares. Moreover, Bulldog Investors, Rutabaga Capital Management, and Tudor Investment Corp were also bullish on Hill International Inc (NYSE:HIL), allocating a large percentage of their portfolios to this stock.

Judging by the fact that Hill International Inc (NYSE:HIL) has witnessed bearish sentiment from hedge fund managers, it’s easy to see that there were a few hedge funds that decided to sell off their full holdings heading into Q3. Interestingly, Jeremy Carton and Gilbert Li’s Alta Fundamental Advisers cut the biggest investment of all the hedgies followed by Insider Monkey, worth close to $0.6 million in stock, and Karim Abbadi and Edward McBride’s Centiva Capital was right behind this move, as the fund cut about $0.2 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Hill International Inc (NYSE:HIL) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Turtle Beach Corp (NASDAQ:HEAR), Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:EKSO), Ultralife Corp. (NASDAQ:ULBI), and MVC Capital, Inc. (NYSE:MVC). All of these stocks’ market caps are closest to HIL’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
HEAR 12 21169 -1
EKSO 7 52278 5
ULBI 7 5883 3
MVC 8 47295 0
Average 8.5 31656 1.75

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 8.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $32 million. That figure was $39 million in HIL’s case. Turtle Beach Corp (NASDAQ:HEAR) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:EKSO) is the least popular one with only 7 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Hill International Inc (NYSE:HIL) is more popular among hedge funds. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 6.2% in Q2 through June 19th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by nearly 3 percentage points. Unfortunately HIL wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on HIL were disappointed as the stock returned -3.8% during the same period 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 13 of these stocks already outperformed the market in Q2.

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