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Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS)

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 823 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 June 30th, when the S&P 500 Index was trading around the 3100 level. Stocks kept going up since then. In this article we look at how hedge funds traded Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) and determine whether the smart money was really smart about this stock.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) investors should pay attention to an increase in hedge fund sentiment lately. Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) was in 47 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of June. The all time high for this statistics is 44. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. Our calculations also showed that LVS isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q2 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks).

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

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit there are a multitude of metrics investors put to use to value stocks. A couple of the most innovative metrics are hedge fund and insider trading activity. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite fund managers can outclass the market by a solid amount (see the details here).

Andreas Halvorsen

Andreas Halvorsen of Viking Global

At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, legal marijuana is one of the fastest growing industries right now, so we are checking out stock pitches like “the Starbucks of cannabis” to identify the next tenbagger. Federal Reserve has been creating trillions of dollars electronically to keep the interest rates near zero. We believe this will lead to inflation and boost precious metals prices. So, we are checking out this junior gold mining stock. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. We go through lists like the 10 most profitable companies in the world to pick the best large-cap stocks to buy. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. Keeping this in mind let’s take a peek at the recent hedge fund action surrounding Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS).

How have hedgies been trading Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS)?

At second quarter’s end, a total of 47 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 12% from the first quarter of 2020. On the other hand, there were a total of 39 hedge funds with a bullish position in LVS a year ago. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

More specifically, D1 Capital Partners was the largest shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), with a stake worth $721.4 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing D1 Capital Partners was Viking Global, which amassed a stake valued at $506.6 million. Melvin Capital Management, Citadel Investment Group, and Point72 Asset 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 Cumberland Associates / Springowl Associates allocated the biggest weight to Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), around 33.92% of its 13F portfolio. D1 Capital Partners is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 5.38 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to LVS.

As aggregate interest increased, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. Long Pond Capital, managed by John Khoury, assembled the most valuable position in Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS). Long Pond Capital had $87.7 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Renaissance Technologies also initiated a $36.9 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new LVS positions are John Brennan’s Sirios Capital Management, Doug Gordon, Jon Hilsabeck and Don Jabro’s Shellback Capital, and Ryan Tolkin (CIO)’s Schonfeld Strategic Advisors.

Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) but similarly valued. These stocks are Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (NYSE:CP), Eni SpA (NYSE:E), Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI), Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE), Snap Inc. (NYSE:SNAP), The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK), and Bank of Montreal (NYSE:BMO). All of these stocks’ market caps match LVS’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
CP 36 1635509 4
E 8 43125 3
KMI 50 1090828 3
SRE 35 635290 8
SNAP 49 1601957 1
BK 48 4431288 -4
BMO 13 107019 0
Average 34.1 1363574 2.1

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 34.1 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1364 million. That figure was $2397 million in LVS’s case. Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Eni SpA (NYSE:E) is the least popular one with only 8 bullish hedge fund positions. Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for LVS is 86.4. 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. This is a slightly positive signal but we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. 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 33% in 2020 through the end of August and beat the market by 23.2 percentage points. Unfortunately LVS wasn’t nearly as popular as these 10 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on LVS were disappointed as the stock returned 11.4% during the same time 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 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market so far this year.

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