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Here is Why Hedge Funds Are Betting On Kindred Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:KND)

Is Kindred Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:KND) a buy right now? The smart money thinks so. The number of bullish hedge fund bets went up by 1 during the first quarter. More importantly, there are noticably a large number of hedge funds invested in the stock. In this article we will share Corsair Capital’s views on KND. But first, let us explain why we even care about what hedge funds think about these stocks.

Hedge funds have been underperforming the market for a very long time. However, this was mainly because of the huge fees that hedge funds charge as well as the poor performance of their short books. Hedge funds’ long positions performed actually better than the market. Small-cap stocks, activist targets, and spin offs were among the bright spots in hedge funds’ portfolios. For instance, the 15 most popular small-cap stocks among hedge funds outperformed the market by more than 80 percentage points since the end of August 2012 (read the details here). This strategy also managed to beat the market by double digits annually in our back tests covering the 1999-2012 period.

Jay Petschek And Steven Major
Jay Petschek And Steven Major
Corsair Capital Management

Corsair Capital talked about its KND position in its 2015 Q1 investor letter. We like Corsair Capital because Corsair Select fund delivered a net return of 13.6% annually since its inception at the beginning of 2004. S&P 500 Index returned only 7.9% during the same period. Corsair Select also returned 6.1% during the first quarter, outperforming the S&P 500 by more than 5 percentage points. Here is what they said:

“Kindred Healthcare, Inc. (“KND”) rose 31% in the first quarter. KND is a leading operator of long-term acute care, rehabilitation and nursing centers across the U.S. During the quarter, the company completed a transformational transaction – the acquisition of Gentiva Healthcare, making KND the largest post-acute provider in the country with over 100,000 healthcare employees. We believe the “new” KND is a stronger, more diverse company which, assuming synergies should generate normalized free cash flow of $3/share. The market had three primary reservations about the deal: 1) financing terms, 2) synergy estimates and 3) diversification, as Gentiva operates home healthcare vs. KND’s history of operating in-facility. We saw something different: 1) the financing would be completed at reasonable terms, 2) KND had a long track record of materially exceeding initial synergy estimates and 3) diversification into home healthcare is a positive, not a negative. While sentiment has improved since the February closing, we still believe KND should trade at 10-12x normalized FCF or between $30-36/share. KND closed the quarter at $23.79.”

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