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Here is What Hedge Funds Think About ASGN Incorporated (ASGN)

The financial regulations require hedge funds and wealthy investors that exceeded the $100 million equity holdings threshold to file a report that shows their positions at the end of every quarter. Even though it isn’t the intention, these filings to a certain extent level the playing field for ordinary investors. The latest round of 13F filings disclosed the funds’ positions on March 31st, about a week after the S&P 500 Index bottomed. We at Insider Monkey have made an extensive database of more than 821 of those established hedge funds and famous value investors’ filings. In this article, we analyze how these elite funds and prominent investors traded ASGN Incorporated (NYSE:ASGN) based on those filings.

ASGN Incorporated (NYSE:ASGN) has experienced an increase in enthusiasm from smart money of late. ASGN was in 19 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2020. There were 18 hedge funds in our database with ASGN positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that ASGN 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).

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

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit there are several tools shareholders employ to analyze stocks. Two of the less known tools are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite hedge fund managers can beat the S&P 500 by a solid margin (see the details here).

Paul Marshall Marshall Wace

Paul Marshall of Marshall Wace

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 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 take a gander at the recent hedge fund action encompassing ASGN Incorporated (NYSE:ASGN).

How are hedge funds trading ASGN Incorporated (NYSE:ASGN)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 19 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 6% from one quarter earlier. By comparison, 23 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in ASGN a year ago. So, let’s find out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Is ASGN A Good Stock To Buy?

The largest stake in ASGN Incorporated (NYSE:ASGN) was held by Citadel Investment Group, which reported holding $28 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Brant Point Investment Management with a $3.3 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Millennium Management, Marshall Wace LLP, and D E Shaw. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Trellus Management Company allocated the biggest weight to ASGN Incorporated (NYSE:ASGN), around 0.49% of its 13F portfolio. Brant Point Investment Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 0.42 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to ASGN.

As one would reasonably expect, key money managers have been driving this bullishness. Marshall Wace LLP, managed by Paul Marshall and Ian Wace, initiated the largest position in ASGN Incorporated (NYSE:ASGN). Marshall Wace LLP had $2.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Greg Eisner’s Engineers Gate Manager also initiated a $0.5 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new ASGN investors: Brandon Haley’s Holocene Advisors, Matthew Hulsizer’s PEAK6 Capital Management, and Minhua Zhang’s Weld Capital Management.

Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as ASGN Incorporated (NYSE:ASGN) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Evercore Inc. (NYSE:EVR), Triton International Limited (NYSE:TRTN), Karuna Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:KRTX), and Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI). This group of stocks’ market valuations match ASGN’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
EVR 29 198051 -3
TRTN 12 26482 -4
KRTX 16 148161 1
WRI 20 72034 0
Average 19.25 111182 -1.5

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 19.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $111 million. That figure was $44 million in ASGN’s case. Evercore Inc. (NYSE:EVR) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Triton International Limited (NYSE:TRTN) is the least popular one with only 12 bullish hedge fund positions. ASGN Incorporated (NYSE:ASGN) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below 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 13.4% in 2020 through June 22nd and still beat the market by 15.9 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on ASGN as the stock returned 83.4% during the second quarter and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

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