The Insider Monkey team has completed processing the quarterly 13F filings for the March quarter submitted by the hedge funds and other money managers included in our extensive database. Most hedge fund investors experienced strong gains on the back of a strong market performance, which certainly propelled them to adjust their equity holdings so as to maintain the desired risk profile. As a result, the relevancy of these public filings and their content is indisputable, as they may reveal numerous high-potential stocks. The following article will discuss the smart money sentiment towards Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC).
Is Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) worth your attention right now? Money managers are in a bearish mood. The number of long hedge fund positions decreased by 4 lately. Our calculations also showed that symc isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds. SYMC was in 29 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of March. There were 33 hedge funds in our database with SYMC positions at the end of the previous quarter.
Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the market by 40 percentage points since May 2014 through May 30, 2019 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.
Let’s take a glance at the key hedge fund action encompassing Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC).
What does the smart money think about Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC)?
At the end of the first quarter, a total of 29 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -12% from the fourth quarter of 2018. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards SYMC over the last 15 quarters. So, let’s see which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.
The largest stake in Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) was held by Starboard Value LP, which reported holding $827.7 million worth of stock at the end of March. It was followed by AQR Capital Management with a $317.3 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included D E Shaw, Citadel Investment Group, and Two Sigma Advisors.
Since Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) has faced falling interest from the smart money, logic holds that there lies a certain “tier” of hedgies that decided to sell off their full holdings by the end of the third quarter. At the top of the heap, William B. Gray’s Orbis Investment Management cut the biggest stake of all the hedgies tracked by Insider Monkey, comprising an estimated $91.2 million in stock. Ricky Sandler’s fund, Eminence Capital, also dropped its stock, about $22.4 million worth. These moves are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest dropped by 4 funds by the end of the third quarter.
Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) but similarly valued. These stocks are Evergy, Inc. (NYSE:EVRG), KB Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:KB), The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO), and Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ:MYL). This group of stocks’ market valuations are similar to SYMC’s market valuation.
|Ticker||No of HFs with positions||Total Value of HF Positions (x1000)||Change in HF Position|
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As you can see these stocks had an average of 23.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1087 million. That figure was $1762 million in SYMC’s case. Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ:MYL) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand KB Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:KB) is the least popular one with only 12 bullish hedge fund positions. Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. 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 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 1.9% in Q2 through May 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by more than 3 percentage points. Unfortunately SYMC wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on SYMC were disappointed as the stock returned -17.9% during the same 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 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds as 13 of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in Q2.
Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.