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Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc (APAM)

The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. We at Insider Monkey have plowed through 821 13F filings that hedge funds and well-known value investors are required to file by the SEC. The 13F filings show the funds’ and investors’ portfolio positions as of March 31st, a week after the market trough. In this article we look at what those investors think of Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc (NYSE:APAM).

Is Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc (NYSE:APAM) a worthy investment today? Prominent investors are in an optimistic mood. The number of bullish hedge fund bets moved up by 4 in recent months. Our calculations also showed that APAM isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). APAM was in 20 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of March. There were 16 hedge funds in our database with APAM holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 58 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that’ll significantly underperform the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 36% through May 18th. That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

TUDOR INVESTMENT CORP

Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment Corp

We leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example Europe is set to become the world’s largest cannabis market, so we check out this European marijuana stock pitch. We take a look at lists like the 10 most profitable companies in the world to identify the compounders that are likely to deliver double digit returns. We interview hedge fund managers and ask them about their best ideas. If you want to find out the best healthcare stock to buy right now, you can watch our latest hedge fund manager interview here. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when the S&P 500 was trading at 3150 after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. With all of this in mind we’re going to view the recent hedge fund action encompassing Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc (NYSE:APAM).

What does smart money think about Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc (NYSE:APAM)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 20 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 25% from the previous quarter. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in APAM over the last 18 quarters. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

The largest stake in Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc (NYSE:APAM) was held by Renaissance Technologies, which reported holding $80.5 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Fisher Asset Management with a $30.1 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Royce & Associates, Citadel Investment Group, and GLG Partners. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Azora Capital allocated the biggest weight to Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc (NYSE:APAM), around 1.06% of its 13F portfolio. Sprott Asset Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 0.55 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to APAM.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds have been driving this bullishness. Azora Capital, managed by Ravi Chopra, established the most valuable position in Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc (NYSE:APAM). Azora Capital had $2.7 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Josh Donfeld and David Rogers’s Castle Hook Partners also made a $1.5 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new APAM positions are Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management, Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp, and Greg Eisner’s Engineers Gate Manager.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc (NYSE:APAM). We will take a look at Fate Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:FATE), Golub Capital BDC Inc (NASDAQ:GBDC), Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW), and Option Care Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPCH). All of these stocks’ market caps match APAM’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
FATE 24 582153 1
GBDC 13 52793 -3
GNW 32 258511 0
OPCH 7 12260 -7
Average 19 226429 -2.25

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 19 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $226 million. That figure was $172 million in APAM’s case. Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Option Care Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPCH) is the least popular one with only 7 bullish hedge fund positions. Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc (NYSE:APAM) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our calculations showed that top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks gained 12.2% in 2020 through June 17th but still beat the market by 14.8 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on APAM as the stock returned 54.8% in Q2 (through June 17th) 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.