Is JJSF A Good Stock To Buy Now?

After several tireless days we have finished crunching the numbers from nearly 817 13F filings issued by the elite hedge funds and other investment firms that we track at Insider Monkey, which disclosed those firms’ equity portfolios as of September 30th. The results of that effort will be put on display in this article, as we share valuable insight into the smart money sentiment towards J&J Snack Foods Corp. (NASDAQ:JJSF).

Is JJSF a good stock to buy now? J&J Snack Foods Corp. (NASDAQ:JJSF) was in 16 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. The all time high for this statistic is 20. JJSF has seen a decrease in hedge fund sentiment recently. There were 17 hedge funds in our database with JJSF holdings at the end of June. Our calculations also showed that JJSF isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 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.

To the average investor there are several formulas shareholders use to grade publicly traded companies. A pair of the best formulas are hedge fund and insider trading signals. Our researchers have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best money managers can outclass their index-focused peers by a solid margin (see the details here).

Noam Gottesman GLG Partners

Noam Gottesman of GLG Partners

At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, Federal Reserve has been creating trillions of dollars electronically to keep the interest rates near zero. We believe this will lead to inflation and boost real estate prices. So, we recommended this real estate stock to our monthly premium newsletter subscribers. We go through lists like the 15 best blue chip stocks to pick the best large-cap stocks to buy. 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 website. With all of this in mind let’s take a peek at the latest hedge fund action encompassing J&J Snack Foods Corp. (NASDAQ:JJSF).

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

At third quarter’s end, a total of 16 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -6% from the previous quarter. On the other hand, there were a total of 20 hedge funds with a bullish position in JJSF a year ago. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

Is JJSF A Good Stock To Buy?

According to Insider Monkey’s hedge fund database, Renaissance Technologies, holds the largest position in J&J Snack Foods Corp. (NASDAQ:JJSF). Renaissance Technologies has a $32.9 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. On Renaissance Technologies’s heels is GAMCO Investors, managed by Mario Gabelli, which holds a $5.9 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedge funds and institutional investors that are bullish contain Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and Noam Gottesman’s GLG Partners. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Winton Capital Management allocated the biggest weight to J&J Snack Foods Corp. (NASDAQ:JJSF), around 0.08% of its 13F portfolio. Engineers Gate Manager is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 0.08 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to JJSF.

Due to the fact that J&J Snack Foods Corp. (NASDAQ:JJSF) has faced declining sentiment from the smart money, logic holds that there lies a certain “tier” of money managers that elected to cut their entire stakes heading into Q4. It’s worth mentioning that Peter Algert and Kevin Coldiron’s Algert Coldiron Investors sold off the largest position of the 750 funds tracked by Insider Monkey, comprising about $2.3 million in stock, and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $0.8 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 1 funds heading into Q4.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to J&J Snack Foods Corp. (NASDAQ:JJSF). We will take a look at Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:SPB), American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE:AEO), NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE:NWE), Bloom Energy Corporation (NYSE:BE), Uniti Group Inc. (NASDAQ:UNIT), Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI), and Sensient Technologies Corporation (NYSE:SXT). All of these stocks’ market caps are similar to JJSF’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
SPB 38 380230 12
AEO 42 763947 6
NWE 20 101486 -2
BE 17 176049 1
UNIT 22 351956 5
ITRI 15 276452 2
SXT 22 219122 -1
Average 25.1 324177 3.3

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 25.1 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $324 million. That figure was $71 million in JJSF’s case. American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE:AEO) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI) is the least popular one with only 15 bullish hedge fund positions. J&J Snack Foods Corp. (NASDAQ:JJSF) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for JJSF is 29.9. 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 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.3% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10 percentage points. These stocks gained 30.7% in 2020 through December 14th and still beat the market by 15.8 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on JJSF as the stock returned 16.8% since the end of the third quarter (through 12/14) and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

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