Is Expedia (EXPE) Stock A Buy or Sell?

A whopping number of 13F filings filed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been processed by Insider Monkey so that individual investors can look at the overall hedge fund sentiment towards the stocks included in their watchlists. These freshly-submitted public filings disclose money managers’ equity positions as of the end of the three-month period that ended December 31st, so let’s proceed with the discussion of the hedge fund sentiment on Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE).

Is EXPE stock a buy or sell? Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) was in 76 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. The all time high for this statistic is 73. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. EXPE investors should be aware of an increase in enthusiasm from smart money of late. There were 64 hedge funds in our database with EXPE positions at the end of the third quarter. Our calculations also showed that EXPE isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q4 rankings).

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 124 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.

Brad Gerstner Altimeter Capital

Brad Gerstner of Altimeter Capital Management

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. Recently Oregon became the first state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms which are shown to have promising results in treating depression, addiction, and PTSD in early stage academic studies. So, we are checking out this psychedelic drug stock idea right now. We go through lists like the 10 best hydrogen fuel cell stocks to pick the next Tesla that will deliver a 10x return. 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 homepage (or at the end of this article). Keeping this in mind we’re going to take a peek at the recent hedge fund action encompassing Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE).

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

At fourth quarter’s end, a total of 76 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 19% from the previous quarter. On the other hand, there were a total of 59 hedge funds with a bullish position in EXPE a year ago. So, let’s examine which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, D1 Capital Partners, managed by Daniel Sundheim, holds the most valuable position in Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE). D1 Capital Partners has a $1.603 billion position in the stock, comprising 7.6% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Melvin Capital Management, managed by Gabriel Plotkin, which holds a $1.5792 billion position; 7% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Other members of the smart money that hold long positions encompass Brad Gerstner’s Altimeter Capital Management, Paul Reeder and Edward Shapiro’s PAR Capital Management and John Smith Clark’s Southpoint Capital Advisors. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Clearfield Capital allocated the biggest weight to Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE), around 13.97% of its 13F portfolio. PAR Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 12.85 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to EXPE.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key money managers have jumped into Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) headfirst. Whale Rock Capital Management, managed by Alex Sacerdote, established the largest position in Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE). Whale Rock Capital Management had $192.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Ricky Sandler’s Eminence Capital also initiated a $144.6 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new EXPE positions are D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, Michael Rockefeller and Karl Kroeker’s Woodline Partners, and Guy Shahar’s DSAM Partners.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE). We will take a look at Pioneer Natural Resources Company (NYSE:PXD), Hologic, Inc. (NASDAQ:HOLX), PagSeguro Digital Ltd. (NYSE:PAGS), Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHKP), SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:SSNC), Restaurant Brands International Inc (NYSE:QSR), and Smith & Nephew plc (NYSE:SNN). This group of stocks’ market valuations are closest to EXPE’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
PXD 40 685798 -2
HOLX 43 715967 -7
PAGS 25 1840597 1
CHKP 26 775145 -1
SSNC 49 2623844 -5
QSR 39 2406995 6
SNN 12 78652 2
Average 33.4 1303857 -0.9

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 33.4 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1304 million. That figure was $6595 million in EXPE’s case. SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:SSNC) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Smith & Nephew plc (NYSE:SNN) is the least popular one with only 12 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) is more popular among hedge funds. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for EXPE is 90. 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 returned 7% in 2021 through March 12th but still managed to beat the market by 1.6 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on EXPE as the stock returned 31.9% since the end of December (through 3/12) 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.