HFF, Inc. (HF): Hedge Fund Sentiment Unchanged

A whopping number of 13F filings filed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been processed by Insider Monkey so that individual investors can look at the overall hedge fund sentiment towards the stocks included in their watchlists. These freshly-submitted public filings disclose money managers’ equity positions as of the end of the three-month period that ended September 30, so let’s proceed with the discussion of the hedge fund sentiment on HFF, Inc. (NYSE:HF) .

Hedge fund interest in HFF, Inc. (NYSE:HF) shares was flat at the end of last quarter. This is usually a negative indicator. 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 Endologix, Inc. (NASDAQ:ELGX), PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (NYSE:PMT), and Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (NYSE:FSM) to gather more data points.

At Insider Monkey, we’ve developed an investment strategy that has delivered market-beating returns over the past 12 months. Our strategy identifies the 100 best-performing funds of the previous quarter from among the collection of 700+ successful funds that we track in our database, which we accomplish using our returns methodology. We then study the portfolios of those 100 funds using the latest 13F data to uncover the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks (market caps of between $1 billion and $10 billion) among them to hold until the next filing period. This strategy delivered 18% gains over the past 12 months, more than doubling the 8% returns enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs.

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Keeping this in mind, let’s take a peek at the new action regarding HFF, Inc. (NYSE:HF).

Hedge fund activity in HFF, Inc. (NYSE:HF)

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2016, a total of 10 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 0% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards HF over the last 5 quarters. So, let’s review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.


According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Renaissance Technologies, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, holds the largest position in HFF, Inc. (NYSE:HF) which has a $13.4 million position in the stock. On Renaissance Technologies’s heels is Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group holding a $4.9 million position. Remaining professional money managers that are bullish comprise John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors, J. Alan Reid, Jr.’s Forward Management and Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital Management. We should note that Forward Management is among our list of the 100 best performing hedge funds which is based on the performance of their 13F long positions in non-microcap stocks.

Now that we’ve mentioned the most bullish investors, let’s also take a look at some funds that sold off their entire stakes in the stock during the third quarter. At the top of the heap, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management sold off the biggest stake of the 700 funds tracked by Insider Monkey, comprising an estimated $1.1 million in stock, and Matthew Tewksbury’s Stevens Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $0.3 million worth of shares.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to HFF, Inc. (NYSE:HF). We will take a look at Endologix, Inc. (NASDAQ:ELGX), PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (NYSE:PMT), Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (NYSE:FSM), and Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AERI). This group of stocks’ market valuations are closest to HF’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
ELGX 16 193843 -8
PMT 13 38148 -1
FSM 11 39329 1
AERI 31 395104 14

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 $167 million. That figure was $24 million in HF’s case. Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AERI) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (NYSE:FSM) is the least popular one with only 11 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks HFF, Inc. (NYSE:HF) is even less popular than FSM. Considering that hedge funds aren’t fond of this stock in relation to other companies analyzed in this article, it may be a good idea to analyze it in detail and understand why the smart money isn’t behind this stock. This isn’t necessarily bad news. Although it is possible that hedge funds may think the stock is overpriced and view the stock as a short candidate, they may not be very familiar with the bullish thesis. In either case more research is warranted.

Disclosure: None