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Is Itron, Inc. (ITRI) A Good Stock To Buy?

The 700+ hedge funds and money managers tracked by Insider Monkey have already compiled and submitted their 13F filings for the second quarter, which unveil their equity positions as of September 30. We went through these filings, fixed typos and other more significant errors and identified the changes in hedge fund positions. Our extensive review of these public filings is finally over, so this article is set to reveal the smart money sentiment towards Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI).

Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI) has seen an increase in hedge fund interest lately. ITRI was in 17 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. There were 13 hedge funds in our database with ITRI holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that itri isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

Today there are tons of formulas investors can use to size up publicly traded companies. A couple of the most useful formulas are hedge fund and insider trading activity. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top investment managers can outpace their index-focused peers by a very impressive margin (see the details here).

RichardMcGuire_MarcatoCapitalManagement

We’re going to analyze the fresh hedge fund action regarding Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI).

What does the smart money think about Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI)?

At the end of the third quarter, a total of 17 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 31% from the second quarter of 2018. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in ITRI over the last 13 quarters. So, let’s examine which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

No of Hedge Funds with ITRI Positions

The largest stake in Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI) was held by Scopia Capital, which reported holding $346.7 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Impax Asset Management with a $139.4 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Marcato Capital Management, Renaissance Technologies, and Cardinal Capital.

Consequently, key money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Marshall Wace LLP, managed by Paul Marshall and Ian Wace, established the largest position in Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI). Marshall Wace LLP had $1.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Michael Platt and William Reeves’s BlueCrest Capital Mgmt. also made a $1.1 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new ITRI investors: Ken Grossman and Glen Schneider’s SG Capital Management, Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management, and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI). We will take a look at Moelis & Company (NYSE:MC), ProAssurance Corporation (NYSE:PRA), Urban Edge Properties (NYSE:UE), and Apollo Commercial Real Est. Finance Inc (NYSE:ARI). All of these stocks’ market caps are similar to ITRI’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
MC 20 80299 7
PRA 13 211984 -1
UE 12 75334 2
ARI 7 20599 2
Average 13 97054 2.5

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 $97 million. That figure was $625 million in ITRI’s case. Moelis & Company (NYSE:MC) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Apollo Commercial Real Est. Finance Inc (NYSE:ARI) is the least popular one with only 7 bullish hedge fund positions. Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI) 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. In this regard MC might be a better candidate to consider a long position.

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

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