Is HubSpot (HUBS) A Smart Long-Term Buy?

Artisan Partners, a high value-added investment management firm, published its ‘Artisan Mid Cap Fund’ second quarter 2021 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. A return of 10.45% was recorded by its Investor Class: ARTMX, 10.46% by its Advisor Class: APDMX, and 10.52% by its Institutional Class: APHMX, in the second quarter of 2021, all below the Russell Midcap® Growth Index that delivered an 11.07% return, but outperforming the Russell Midcap® Index that was up by 7.50% for the same period. You can take a look at the fund’s top 5 holdings to have an idea about their top bets for 2021.

In the Q2 2021 investor letter of Artisan Partners, the fund mentioned HubSpot, Inc. (NYSE: HUBS) and discussed its stance on the firm. HubSpot, Inc. is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based software company with a $32.1 billion market capitalization. HUBS delivered a 75.19% return since the beginning of the year, while its 12-month returns are up by 147.94%. The stock closed at $684.40 per share on September 2, 2021.

Here is what Artisan Partners has to say about HubSpot, Inc. in its Q2 2021 investor letter:

HubSpot has its roots in marketing automation software for small and medium-sized businesses, but during our ownership period has steadily expanded its offering to become a broad front-office solution suite across marketing, sales, service, website content management and customer data analytics (and has simultaneously enriched these tools to attract larger customers). The pandemic has prompted companies across the globe to modernize their customer-facing software at a record pace as they increasingly rely on their digital capabilities. HubSpot’s ability to meet this need was on full display in its recent earnings results. New customer additions hit a record pace (+45% YoY), and the company demonstrated both high retention of existing customers and strong progress in driving higher adoption of additional software modules. Furthermore, the company’s sales and marketing spend is getting more efficient, which is driving a steady increase in margins. Given the positive profit cycle momentum, we added to our position at a valuation we consider attractive.”

Based on our calculations, HubSpot, Inc. (NYSE: HUBS) was not able to clinch a spot in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. HUBS was in 54 hedge fund portfolios at the end of the first half of 2021, compared to 46 funds in the previous quarter. HubSpot, Inc. (NYSE: HUBS) delivered a 43.01% return in the past 3 months.

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 has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 115 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 underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

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