Is IQVIA Holdings (IQV) Stock A Buy or Sell?

At Insider Monkey, we pore over the filings of nearly 887 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 December 31st. In this article, we will use that wealth of knowledge to determine whether or not IQVIA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:IQV) makes for a good investment right now.

Is IQV stock a buy or sell? IQVIA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:IQV) was in 69 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. The all time high for this statistic is 68. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. IQV investors should pay attention to an increase in enthusiasm from smart money in recent months. There were 64 hedge funds in our database with IQV positions at the end of the third quarter. Our calculations also showed that IQV isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q4 rankings).

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Michael Lowenstein Kensico Capital

Michael Lowenstein of Kensico Capital

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

At the end of December, a total of 69 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 8% from one quarter earlier. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards IQV over the last 22 quarters. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

Among these funds, Farallon Capital held the most valuable stake in IQVIA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:IQV), which was worth $724.5 million at the end of the fourth quarter. On the second spot was Steadfast Capital Management which amassed $418.4 million worth of shares. Third Point, D E Shaw, and Kensico Capital 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 RIT Capital Partners allocated the biggest weight to IQVIA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:IQV), around 20.75% of its 13F portfolio. Cowbird Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 9.7 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to IQV.

Consequently, key money managers have jumped into IQVIA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:IQV) headfirst. Point72 Asset Management, managed by Steve Cohen, established the largest position in IQVIA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:IQV). Point72 Asset Management had $83.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Frank Fu’s CaaS Capital also initiated a $30 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are David Zorub’s Parsifal Capital Management, Peter Galgay’s Amitell Capital, and Jacob Doft’s Highline Capital Management.

Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as IQVIA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:IQV) but similarly valued. We will take a look at T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TROW), Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN), PPG Industries, Inc. (NYSE:PPG), RingCentral Inc (NYSE:RNG), Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK), Johnson Controls International plc (NYSE:JCI), and TransDigm Group Incorporated (NYSE:TDG). All of these stocks’ market caps are closest to IQV’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
TROW 35 360876 1
ALXN 77 6025546 19
PPG 34 295422 -2
RNG 63 4401111 4
VRSK 32 1438418 -8
JCI 34 795050 10
TDG 64 6891017 0
Average 48.4 2886777 3.4

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 48.4 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $2887 million. That figure was $3765 million in IQV’s case. Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK) is the least popular one with only 32 bullish hedge fund positions. IQVIA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:IQV) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for IQV is 81.1. 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. 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 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 gained 7% in 2021 through March 12th and beat the market again by 1.6 percentage points. Unfortunately IQV wasn’t nearly as popular as these 30 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on IQV were disappointed as the stock returned 4.3% since the end of December (through 3/12) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market since 2019.

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