Is Citigroup (C) Stock A Buy or Sell?

The Insider Monkey team has completed processing the quarterly 13F filings for the December 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 Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C).

Is Citigroup (C) stock a buy or sell? The best stock pickers were taking an optimistic view. The number of long hedge fund bets went up by 4 lately. Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) was in 95 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. The all time high for this statistic is 121. Our calculations also showed that C ranked 26th among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q4 rankings). There were 91 hedge funds in our database with C positions at the end of the third quarter.

To the average investor there are a multitude of signals shareholders can use to evaluate publicly traded companies. A duo of the most innovative signals are hedge fund and insider trading interest. Our experts have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite fund managers can beat their index-focused peers by a solid amount (see the details here).


Jeffrey Ubben of ValueAct Capital

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Do Hedge Funds Think C Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?

At fourth quarter’s end, a total of 95 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 4% from one quarter earlier. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in C over the last 22 quarters. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were adding to their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

Is C A Good Stock To Buy?

The largest stake in Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) was held by ValueAct Capital, which reported holding $1666.4 million worth of stock at the end of December. It was followed by Eagle Capital Management with a $1385.2 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Pzena Investment Management, D E Shaw, and First Pacific Advisors LLC. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position ValueAct Capital allocated the biggest weight to Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), around 19.33% of its 13F portfolio. Kahn Brothers is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 8.78 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to C.

As industrywide interest jumped, some big names were leading the bulls’ herd. Senator Investment Group, managed by Doug Silverman and Alexander Klabin, created the largest position in Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C). Senator Investment Group had $95.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Jeffrey Altman’s Owl Creek Asset Management also initiated a $87.9 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new C investors: Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management and Zach Schreiber’s Point State Capital.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C). These stocks are Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Sanofi (NYSE:SNY), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), and Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW). All of these stocks’ market caps are closest to C’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
SBUX 67 4990840 1
SNE 28 593971 2
WFC 99 8748819 9
MS 66 5665191 -4
SNY 15 1145189 -5
BA 55 1057323 12
LOW 71 5192115 -12
Average 57.3 3913350 0.4

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 57.3 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $3913 million. That figure was $7120 million in C’s case. Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) is the least popular one with only 15 bullish hedge fund positions. Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for C is 80.2. 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 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 81.2% in 2019 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 26 percentage points. These stocks gained 5.3% in 2021 through March 19th and still beat the market by 0.8 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on C as the stock returned 19.4% since the end of Q4 (through 3/19) and outperformed the market. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.

Follow Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C)

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