Is Crown Castle (CCI) 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 Crown Castle International Corp. (REIT) (NYSE:CCI).

Is Crown Castle (CCI) stock a buy or sell? Hedge funds were cutting their exposure. The number of bullish hedge fund positions were cut by 2 lately. Crown Castle International Corp. (REIT) (NYSE:CCI) was in 40 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. The all time high for this statistic is 47. Our calculations also showed that CCI isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q4 rankings).

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit there are a large number of formulas stock market investors employ to size up stocks. A duo of the less utilized formulas are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. Our experts have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite investment managers can trounce the broader indices by a significant amount (see the details here).

Stuart Zimmer Zimmer Partners

Stuart Zimmer of Zimmer Partners

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, the House passed a landmark bill decriminalizing marijuana. So, we are checking out this under the radar cannabis stock right now. We go through lists like the 10 best battery stocks to buy to identify the next stock with 10x upside potential. 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 check out the key hedge fund action surrounding Crown Castle International Corp. (REIT) (NYSE:CCI).

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

At the end of December, a total of 40 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -5% from one quarter earlier. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards CCI over the last 22 quarters. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

More specifically, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust was the largest shareholder of Crown Castle International Corp. (REIT) (NYSE:CCI), with a stake worth $848.9 million reported as of the end of December. Trailing Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust was Fisher Asset Management, which amassed a stake valued at $336.9 million. Citadel Investment Group, D E Shaw, and Echo Street Capital Management 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 Courage Capital allocated the biggest weight to Crown Castle International Corp. (REIT) (NYSE:CCI), around 8.41% of its 13F portfolio. Skylands Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 7.45 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to CCI.

Seeing as Crown Castle International Corp. (REIT) (NYSE:CCI) has witnessed a decline in interest from hedge fund managers, it’s safe to say that there were a few hedgies that slashed their entire stakes last quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Jaime Sterne’s Skye Global Management sold off the biggest investment of all the hedgies monitored by Insider Monkey, comprising an estimated $32.6 million in stock. Jonathan Litt’s fund, Land & Buildings Investment Management, also dropped its stock, about $26.2 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 2 funds last quarter.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Crown Castle International Corp. (REIT) (NYSE:CCI) but similarly valued. These stocks are Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX), Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK), Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK), The Sherwin-Williams Company (NYSE:SHW), The Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE:BNS), CME Group Inc (NASDAQ:CME), and NetEase, Inc (NASDAQ:NTES). This group of stocks’ market caps match CCI’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
LRCX 56 2619776 1
DUK 38 614751 2
ADSK 66 3528315 1
SHW 49 1881345 -6
BNS 19 336708 5
CME 58 2275518 -1
NTES 38 3467820 -7
Average 46.3 2103462 -0.7

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 46.3 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $2103 million. That figure was $2072 million in CCI’s case. Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand The Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE:BNS) is the least popular one with only 19 bullish hedge fund positions. Crown Castle International Corp. (REIT) (NYSE:CCI) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for CCI is 50.9. 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 beat the market by 0.8 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on CCI, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned 4.9% since the end of Q4 (through March 19th) and outperformed the market.

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