Is Amtech Systems (ASYS) A Good Stock To Buy Now?

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 817 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 September 30th, about a month before the elections. In this article we look at what those investors think of Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASYS).

Is Amtech Systems (ASYS) a good stock to buy now? Investors who are in the know were in a pessimistic mood. The number of long hedge fund positions were trimmed by 1 in recent months. Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASYS) was in 7 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. The all time high for this statistics is 12. Our calculations also showed that ASYS isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). There were 8 hedge funds in our database with ASYS positions at the end of the second quarter.

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

Why do we pay any attention at all to hedge fund sentiment? Our research has shown that a select group of hedge fund holdings outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 66 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that’ll significantly underperform the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 13% through November 17th. That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Fred DiSanto Ancora Advisors

Fred DiSanto of Ancora Advisors

At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, Federal Reserve has been creating trillions of dollars electronically to keep the interest rates near zero. We believe this will lead to inflation and boost real estate prices. So, we recommended this real estate stock to our monthly premium newsletter subscribers. We go through lists like the 15 best blue chip stocks to pick the best large-cap stocks to buy. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our website. Keeping this in mind we’re going to take a look at the key hedge fund action surrounding Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASYS).

What does smart money think about Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASYS)?

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2020, a total of 7 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -13% from the second quarter of 2020. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in ASYS over the last 21 quarters. So, let’s review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

More specifically, Harbert Management was the largest shareholder of Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASYS), with a stake worth $4.1 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Harbert Management was Royce & Associates, which amassed a stake valued at $2.9 million. Roumell Asset Management, Ancora Advisors, and Renaissance Technologies 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 Harbert Management allocated the biggest weight to Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASYS), around 4.96% of its 13F portfolio. Roumell Asset Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 3.91 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to ASYS.

Since Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASYS) has faced bearish sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, logic holds that there lies a certain “tier” of funds that decided to sell off their entire stakes last quarter. Interestingly, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group said goodbye to the biggest position of all the hedgies tracked by Insider Monkey, comprising an estimated $0.1 million in stock. Matthew Hulsizer’s fund, PEAK6 Capital Management, also cut its stock, about $0 million worth. These moves are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest dropped by 1 funds last quarter.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASYS). We will take a look at Twin Disc, Incorporated (NASDAQ:TWIN), First National Corporation (NASDAQ:FXNC), Inspired Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:INSE), TRACON Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:TCON), Randolph Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:RNDB), Hunt Companies Finance Trust, Inc. (NYSE:HCFT), and Emclaire Financial Corp (NASDAQ:EMCF). All of these stocks’ market caps are similar to ASYS’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
TWIN 4 14625 -4
FXNC 2 6506 0
INSE 5 14453 -2
TCON 5 22756 0
RNDB 2 613 0
HCFT 5 1880 0
EMCF 2 491 0
Average 3.6 8761 -0.9

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 3.6 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $9 million. That figure was $11 million in ASYS’s case. Inspired Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:INSE) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand First National Corporation (NASDAQ:FXNC) is the least popular one with only 2 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASYS) is more popular among hedge funds. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for ASYS is 71.5. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.3% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10 percentage points. These stocks returned 31.6% in 2020 through December 2nd but still managed to beat the market by 16 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on ASYS as the stock returned 39.1% since the end of September (through 12/2) and outperformed the market by an even larger margin. Hedge funds were clearly right about piling into this stock relative to other stocks with similar market capitalizations.

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