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Is Herman Miller, Inc. (MLHR) 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. We at Insider Monkey have plowed through 821 13F filings that hedge funds and well-known value investors are required to file by the SEC. The 13F filings show the funds’ and investors’ portfolio positions as of March 31st, a week after the market trough. In this article we look at what those investors think of Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR).

Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR) investors should pay attention to a decrease in hedge fund interest recently. Our calculations also showed that MLHR isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks).

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

In the financial world there are a lot of metrics stock traders have at their disposal to grade publicly traded companies. A pair of the most under-the-radar metrics are hedge fund and insider trading activity. Our experts have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best money managers can beat their index-focused peers by a superb amount (see the details here).

Fred DiSanto Ancora Advisors

Fred DiSanto of Ancora Advisors

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, 2020’s unprecedented market conditions provide us with the highest number of trading opportunities in a decade. So we are checking out trades like this one. We interview hedge fund managers and ask them about their best ideas. If you want to find out the best healthcare stock to buy right now, you can watch our latest hedge fund manager interview here. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when the S&P 500 was trading at 3150 after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. Now let’s take a gander at the new hedge fund action regarding Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR).

How have hedgies been trading Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 22 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -8% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards MLHR over the last 18 quarters. So, let’s review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Among these funds, AQR Capital Management held the most valuable stake in Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR), which was worth $76.1 million at the end of the third quarter. On the second spot was Millennium Management which amassed $4.5 million worth of shares. Ancora Advisors, Renaissance Technologies, and Gardner Russo & Gardner 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 Zebra Capital Management allocated the biggest weight to Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR), around 0.7% of its 13F portfolio. Quantinno Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, dishing out 0.32 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to MLHR.

Since Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR) has witnessed bearish sentiment from hedge fund managers, we can see that there is a sect of hedgies that decided to sell off their entire stakes last quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Noam Gottesman’s GLG Partners dumped the largest investment of the “upper crust” of funds watched by Insider Monkey, worth about $23.9 million in stock. Ken Grossman and Glen Schneider’s fund, SG Capital Management, also dumped its stock, about $12.6 million worth. These bearish behaviors are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest dropped by 2 funds last quarter.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR) but similarly valued. These stocks are Evoqua Water Technologies Corp. (NYSE:AQUA), TowneBank (NASDAQ:TOWN), Four Corners Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE:FCPT), and Sogou Inc. (NYSE:SOGO). All of these stocks’ market caps match MLHR’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
AQUA 28 124642 7
TOWN 4 25151 -2
FCPT 14 53932 -1
SOGO 6 9617 -5
Average 13 53336 -0.25

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 13 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $53 million. That figure was $112 million in MLHR’s case. Evoqua Water Technologies Corp. (NYSE:AQUA) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand TowneBank (NASDAQ:TOWN) is the least popular one with only 4 bullish hedge fund positions. Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. This is a slightly positive signal but we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. Our calculations showed that top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks gained 13.9% in 2020 through June 10th but beat the market by 14.2 percentage points. Unfortunately MLHR wasn’t nearly as popular as these 10 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on MLHR were disappointed as the stock returned 16.8% during the same time period and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market so far this year.

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