Here’s What Hedge Funds Think About Trueblue Inc (TBI)

There are several ways to beat the market, and investing in small cap stocks has historically been one of them. We like to improve the odds of beating the market further by examining what famous hedge fund operators such as Jeff Ubben, George Soros and Carl Icahn think. Those hedge fund operators make billions of dollars each year by hiring the best and the brightest to do research on stocks, including small cap stocks that big brokerage houses simply don’t cover. Because of Carl Icahn and other elite funds’ exemplary historical records, we pay attention to their small cap picks. In this article, we use hedge fund filing data to analyze Trueblue Inc (NYSE:TBI).

Trueblue Inc (NYSE:TBI) was in 15 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of December. TBI investors should pay attention to an increase in enthusiasm from smart money recently. There were 14 hedge funds in our database with TBI holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that tbi isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

In the financial world there are a large number of tools investors have at their disposal to grade stocks. A pair of the most under-the-radar tools are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a solid amount. Insider Monkey’s flagship best performing hedge funds strategy returned 20.7% year to date (through March 12th) and outperformed the market even though it draws its stock picks among small-cap stocks. This strategy also outperformed the market by 32 percentage points since its inception (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is a useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.


Cliff Asness of AQR Capital Management

Let’s take a look at the latest hedge fund action surrounding Trueblue Inc (NYSE:TBI).

What does the smart money think about Trueblue Inc (NYSE:TBI)?

At Q4’s end, a total of 15 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 7% from the previous quarter. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in TBI over the last 14 quarters. So, let’s review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

No of Hedge Funds with TBI Positions

Among these funds, GMT Capital held the most valuable stake in Trueblue Inc (NYSE:TBI), which was worth $32.3 million at the end of the fourth quarter. On the second spot was AQR Capital Management which amassed $7.5 million worth of shares. Moreover, Royce & Associates, D E Shaw, and GLG Partners were also bullish on Trueblue Inc (NYSE:TBI), allocating a large percentage of their portfolios to this stock.

As industrywide interest jumped, key money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Tudor Investment Corp, managed by Paul Tudor Jones, assembled the most valuable position in Trueblue Inc (NYSE:TBI). Tudor Investment Corp had $0.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Gavin Saitowitz and Cisco J. del Valle’s Springbok Capital also made a $0.1 million investment in the stock during the quarter.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Trueblue Inc (NYSE:TBI) but similarly valued. We take a look at Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:LSCC), Genesco Inc. (NYSE:GCO), Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPFH), and Xperi Corporation (NASDAQ:XPER). All of these stocks’ market caps are similar to TBI’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
LSCC 22 139452 4
GCO 22 97395 3
BPFH 13 51565 4
XPER 15 108258 -1
Average 18 99168 2.5

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 18 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $99 million. That figure was $61 million in TBI’s case. Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:LSCC) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPFH) is the least popular one with only 13 bullish hedge fund positions. Trueblue Inc (NYSE:TBI) 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 TBI wasn’t nearly as popular as these 15 stock (hedge fund sentiment was quite bearish); TBI investors were disappointed as the stock returned 10.5% 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.