Is Ennis, Inc. (EBF) A Good Stock To Buy?

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. Insider Monkey finished processing more than 730 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds’ portfolio positions as of June 28th, 2019. What do these smart investors think about Ennis, Inc. (NYSE:EBF)?

Ennis, Inc. (NYSE:EBF) has seen an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds of late. EBF was in 12 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the second quarter of 2019. There were 9 hedge funds in our database with EBF holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that EBF isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (see the video below).
5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds
Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

In the financial world there are plenty of methods stock traders can use to assess stocks. Some of the less utilized methods are hedge fund and insider trading interest. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top investment managers can trounce the market by a very impressive amount (see the details here).

Chuck Royce

Unlike former hedge manager, Dr. Steve Sjuggerud, who is convinced Dow will soar past 40000, our long-short investment strategy doesn’t rely on bull markets to deliver double digit returns. We only rely on hedge fund buy/sell signals. We’re going to review the recent hedge fund action surrounding Ennis, Inc. (NYSE:EBF).

Hedge fund activity in Ennis, Inc. (NYSE:EBF)

Heading into the third quarter of 2019, a total of 12 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 33% from the first quarter of 2019. By comparison, 11 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in EBF a year ago. So, let’s see which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

No of Hedge Funds with EBF Positions

Among these funds, Renaissance Technologies held the most valuable stake in Ennis, Inc. (NYSE:EBF), which was worth $32.6 million at the end of the second quarter. On the second spot was Royce & Associates which amassed $22.7 million worth of shares. Moreover, AQR Capital Management, Millennium Management, and Citadel Investment Group were also bullish on Ennis, Inc. (NYSE:EBF), allocating a large percentage of their portfolios to this stock.

As industrywide interest jumped, key hedge funds have jumped into Ennis, Inc. (NYSE:EBF) headfirst. Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, initiated the biggest position in Ennis, Inc. (NYSE:EBF). Millennium Management had $3.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. David Harding’s Winton Capital Management also made a $0.9 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new EBF positions are Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital and Michael Gelband’s ExodusPoint Capital.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Ennis, Inc. (NYSE:EBF) but similarly valued. We will take a look at A10 Networks Inc (NYSE:ATEN), Vista Outdoor Inc (NYSE:VSTO), The First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FBMS), and Agilysys, Inc. (NASDAQ:AGYS). This group of stocks’ market caps resemble EBF’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
ATEN 15 102500 -3
VSTO 16 72142 -1
FBMS 7 28083 -1
AGYS 13 122986 -1
Average 12.75 81428 -1.5

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 12.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $81 million. That figure was $69 million in EBF’s case. Vista Outdoor Inc (NYSE:VSTO) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand The First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FBMS) is the least popular one with only 7 bullish hedge fund positions. Ennis, Inc. (NYSE:EBF) 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 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 24.4% in 2019 through September 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 4 percentage points. Unfortunately EBF wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was quite bearish); EBF investors were disappointed as the stock returned -0.4% during the third quarter and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in 2019.

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