Hedge Funds Have Never Been More Bullish On Nielsen Holdings plc (NLSN)

The Insider Monkey team has completed processing the quarterly 13F filings for the June quarter submitted by the hedge funds and other money managers included in our extensive database. Most hedge fund investors experienced strong gains on the back of a strong market performance, which certainly propelled them to adjust their equity holdings so as to maintain the desired risk profile. As a result, the relevancy of these public filings and their content is indisputable, as they may reveal numerous high-potential stocks. The following article will discuss the smart money sentiment towards Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE:NLSN).

Is Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE:NLSN) a bargain? The smart money is taking an optimistic view. The number of bullish hedge fund positions improved by 2 recently. Our calculations also showed that NLSN isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (view the video below). NLSN was in 35 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the second quarter of 2019. There were 33 hedge funds in our database with NLSN holdings at the end of the previous quarter.
5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds
Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

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.


Unlike some fund managers who are betting on Dow reaching 40000 in a year, our long-short investment strategy doesn’t rely on bull markets to deliver double digit returns. We only rely on hedge fund buy/sell signals. We’re going to take a look at the fresh hedge fund action regarding Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE:NLSN).

What does smart money think about Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE:NLSN)?

At Q2’s end, a total of 35 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 6% from the first quarter of 2019. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in NLSN over the last 16 quarters. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).


The largest stake in Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE:NLSN) was held by Windacre Partnership, which reported holding $451.8 million worth of stock at the end of March. It was followed by Elliott Management with a $316.4 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Ariel Investments, Citadel Investment Group, and Renaissance Technologies.

Consequently, some big names were leading the bulls’ herd. Melqart Asset Management, managed by Michel Massoud, assembled the largest position in Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE:NLSN). Melqart Asset Management had $40.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Himanshu Gulati’s Antara Capital also made a $4.5 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Anthony Scaramucci’s Skybridge Capital, Jeffrey Talpins’s Element Capital Management, and Perella Weinberg Partners.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE:NLSN) but similarly valued. These stocks are Oaktree Capital Group LLC (NYSE:OAK), Lamar Advertising Co (NASDAQ:LAMR), Catalent Inc (NYSE:CTLT), and Bio-Techne Corporation (NASDAQ:TECH). All of these stocks’ market caps resemble NLSN’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
OAK 17 145509 2
LAMR 24 242953 4
CTLT 20 427262 5
TECH 24 352676 6
Average 21.25 292100 4.25

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 21.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $292 million. That figure was $1457 million in NLSN’s case. Lamar Advertising Co (NASDAQ:LAMR) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Oaktree Capital Group LLC (NYSE:OAK) is the least popular one with only 17 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE:NLSN) is more popular among hedge funds. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 24.4% in 2019 through September 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 4 percentage points. Unfortunately NLSN wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on NLSN were disappointed as the stock returned -4.4% during the third quarter 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 many of these stocks already outperformed the market in Q3.

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