Here’s What Hedge Funds Think About Pluralsight, Inc. (PS)

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 Pluralsight, Inc. (NASDAQ:PS).

Pluralsight, Inc. (NASDAQ:PS) shares haven’t seen a lot of action during the first quarter. Overall, hedge fund sentiment was unchanged. The stock was in 18 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2020. The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as Prospect Capital Corporation (NASDAQ:PSEC), Epizyme Inc (NASDAQ:EPZM), and Badger Meter, Inc. (NYSE:BMI) to gather more data points. Our calculations also showed that PS 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.

Today there are tons of signals stock market investors employ to assess stocks. Some of the less utilized signals are hedge fund and insider trading interest. Our researchers have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite hedge fund managers can beat the S&P 500 by a superb margin (see the details here).

David Atterbury - Whetstone Capital

David Atterbury of Whetstone Capital Advisors

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. Now let’s take a look at the recent hedge fund action regarding Pluralsight, Inc. (NASDAQ:PS).

What does smart money think about Pluralsight, Inc. (NASDAQ:PS)?

Heading into the second quarter of 2020, a total of 18 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 0% from the previous quarter. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in PS over the last 18 quarters. 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 TK A Good Stock To Buy?Is PS A Good Stock To Buy?

More specifically, D E Shaw was the largest shareholder of Pluralsight, Inc. (NASDAQ:PS), with a stake worth $13.6 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing D E Shaw was Akaris Global Partners, which amassed a stake valued at $12.7 million. Tensile Capital, Citadel Investment Group, and Whetstone Capital Advisors 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 North Run Capital allocated the biggest weight to Pluralsight, Inc. (NASDAQ:PS), around 6.66% of its 13F portfolio. Akaris Global Partners is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 6.2 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to PS.

Since Pluralsight, Inc. (NASDAQ:PS) has faced falling interest from hedge fund managers, it’s easy to see that there exists a select few money managers that decided to sell off their positions entirely last quarter. Interestingly, Nancy Zevenbergen’s Zevenbergen Capital Investments sold off the biggest position of all the hedgies monitored by Insider Monkey, comprising about $21.2 million in stock, and Christopher Lyle’s SCGE Management was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $14.1 million worth. These bearish behaviors are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Pluralsight, Inc. (NASDAQ:PS). These stocks are Prospect Capital Corporation (NASDAQ:PSEC), Epizyme Inc (NASDAQ:EPZM), Badger Meter, Inc. (NYSE:BMI), and Hub Group Inc (NASDAQ:HUBG). This group of stocks’ market caps are closest to PS’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
PSEC 8 16564 -7
EPZM 22 351530 4
BMI 20 125239 0
HUBG 17 190642 -2
Average 16.75 170994 -1.25

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 16.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $171 million. That figure was $78 million in PS’s case. Epizyme Inc (NASDAQ:EPZM) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Prospect Capital Corporation (NASDAQ:PSEC) is the least popular one with only 8 bullish hedge fund positions. Pluralsight, Inc. (NASDAQ:PS) 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 13.4% in 2020 through June 22nd but still beat the market by 15.9 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on PS as the stock returned 68.1% in Q2 (through June 22nd) 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.