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Here’s What Hedge Funds Think About Anixter International Inc. (AXE)

Insider Monkey finished processing more than 700 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds’ portfolio positions as of December 31st, 2018. In this article we are going to take a look at smart money sentiment towards Anixter International Inc. (NYSE:AXE).

Is Anixter International Inc. (NYSE:AXE) going to take off soon? The smart money is turning less bullish. The number of long hedge fund bets were trimmed by 3 lately. Our calculations also showed that axe isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

If you’d ask most market participants, hedge funds are perceived as underperforming, old financial vehicles of yesteryear. While there are greater than 8000 funds trading at the moment, Our researchers look at the upper echelon of this group, approximately 750 funds. These money managers control bulk of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by keeping an eye on their finest equity investments, Insider Monkey has uncovered various investment strategies that have historically defeated the S&P 500 index. Insider Monkey’s flagship hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by nearly 5 percentage points per year since its inception in May 2014 through early November 2018. We were able to generate large returns even by identifying short candidates. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 27.5% since February 2017 (through March 12th) even though the market was up nearly 25% during the same period. We just shared a list of 6 short targets in our latest quarterly update and they are already down an average of 6% in less than a month.

Ken Fisher FISHER ASSET MANAGEMENT

Let’s review the fresh hedge fund action surrounding Anixter International Inc. (NYSE:AXE).

How have hedgies been trading Anixter International Inc. (NYSE:AXE)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 14 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -18% from the second quarter of 2018. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in AXE over the last 14 quarters. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

No of Hedge Funds with AXE Positions

The largest stake in Anixter International Inc. (NYSE:AXE) was held by Pzena Investment Management, which reported holding $104.3 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Ariel Investments with a $42.6 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Fisher Asset Management, Royce & Associates, and D E Shaw.

Judging by the fact that Anixter International Inc. (NYSE:AXE) has witnessed a decline in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, we can see that there were a few hedgies that elected to cut their full holdings in the third quarter. Intriguingly, Matthew Hulsizer’s PEAK6 Capital Management said goodbye to the biggest stake of the “upper crust” of funds followed by Insider Monkey, comprising an estimated $1.2 million in stock. Israel Englander’s fund, Millennium Management, also sold off its stock, about $0.8 million worth. These moves are important to note, as total hedge fund interest fell by 3 funds in the third quarter.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Anixter International Inc. (NYSE:AXE). We will take a look at Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOLD), Ladder Capital Corp (NYSE:LADR), Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX), and Retail Opportunity Investments Corp (NASDAQ:ROIC). This group of stocks’ market valuations match AXE’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
FOLD 26 580946 -4
LADR 14 73731 -3
MTX 14 119861 -1
ROIC 10 40907 -1
Average 16 203861 -2.25

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 16 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $204 million. That figure was $223 million in AXE’s case. Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOLD) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Retail Opportunity Investments Corp (NASDAQ:ROIC) is the least popular one with only 10 bullish hedge fund positions. Anixter International Inc. (NYSE:AXE) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. This is a slightly negative signal and we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. Our calculations showed that top 15 most popular stocks) among hedge funds returned 24.2% through April 22nd and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by more than 7 percentage points. Unfortunately AXE wasn’t nearly as popular as these 15 stock (hedge fund sentiment was quite bearish); AXE investors were disappointed as the stock returned 12.2% and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 15 most popular stocks) among hedge funds as 13 of these stocks already outperformed the market this year.

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

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