Is Essex Property Trust Inc (ESS) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

At Insider Monkey, we pore over the filings of more than 700 top investment firms every quarter, a process we have now completed for the latest reporting period. The data we’ve gathered as a result gives us access to a wealth of collective knowledge based on these firms’ portfolio holdings as of September 30. In this article, we will use that wealth of knowledge to determine whether or not Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) makes for a good investment right now.

Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) was in 22 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2015. Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) has seen a decrease in hedge fund interest lately. There were 24 hedge funds in our database with Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) holdings at the end of the previous quarter. At the end of this article, we will also compare Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) to other stocks, including Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW), Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHKP), and National-Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE:NOV) to get a better sense of its popularity.

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If you’d ask most shareholders, hedge funds are seen as underperforming, outdated financial tools of years past. While there are over 8000 funds in operation at present, we choose to focus on the elite of this group, about 700 funds. These money managers manage the majority of the smart money’s total capital, and by paying attention to their top investments, Insider Monkey has discovered various investment strategies that have historically beaten the broader indices. Insider Monkey’s small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 12 percentage points per year for a decade in their back tests.

With all of this in mind, we’re going to take a look at the latest action encompassing Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS).

How are hedge funds trading Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS)?

At the end of the third quarter, a total of 22 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a decline of 8% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, holds the most valuable position in Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS). Millennium Management has a $80.9 million position in the stock, comprising 0.2% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Renaissance Technologies, with a $79.2 million position; 0.2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other peers with similar optimism include Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management, Eduardo Abush’s Waterfront Capital Partners and Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital.