Is Kelly Services, Inc. (KELYA) 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. Insider Monkey finished processing more than 730 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds’ portfolio positions as of June 28th, 2019. What do these smart investors think about Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:KELYA)?

Is Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:KELYA) a healthy stock for your portfolio? The smart money is taking a bearish view. The number of bullish hedge fund positions retreated by 3 lately. Our calculations also showed that KELYA isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (see the video below). KELYA was in 10 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the second quarter of 2019. There were 13 hedge funds in our database with KELYA positions at the end of the previous quarter.
5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds
Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

To most stock holders, hedge funds are viewed as underperforming, old investment vehicles of the past. While there are greater than 8000 funds trading at present, Our researchers choose to focus on the elite of this group, about 750 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group of people direct most of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by keeping an eye on their matchless equity investments, Insider Monkey has unsheathed a number of investment strategies that have historically defeated Mr. Market. Insider Monkey’s flagship hedge fund strategy surpassed the S&P 500 index by around 5 percentage points annually since its inception in May 2014. We were able to generate large returns even by identifying short candidates. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 25.7% since February 2017 (through September 30th) even though the market was up more than 33% during the same period. We just shared a list of 10 short targets in our latest quarterly update .

John Overdeck of Two Sigma

Unlike former hedge manager, Dr. Steve Sjuggerud, who is convinced Dow will soar past 40000, our long-short investment strategy doesn’t rely on bull markets to deliver double digit returns. We only rely on hedge fund buy/sell signals. Let’s check out the latest hedge fund action regarding Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:KELYA).

How are hedge funds trading Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:KELYA)?

Heading into the third quarter of 2019, a total of 10 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -23% from the previous quarter. By comparison, 11 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in KELYA a year ago. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were adding to their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).


The largest stake in Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:KELYA) was held by Diamond Hill Capital, which reported holding $6.2 million worth of stock at the end of March. It was followed by Arrowstreet Capital with a $5.6 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included AQR Capital Management, Renaissance Technologies, and Two Sigma Advisors.

Since Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:KELYA) has faced bearish sentiment from the smart money, logic holds that there exists a select few funds that slashed their full holdings in the second quarter. Interestingly, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management cut the biggest investment of the 750 funds followed by Insider Monkey, totaling close to $0.7 million in stock, and Andrew Feldstein and Stephen Siderow’s Blue Mountain Capital was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $0.4 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as total hedge fund interest fell by 3 funds in the second quarter.

Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:KELYA) but similarly valued. These stocks are Sandstorm Gold Ltd. (NYSE:SAND), Kadant Inc. (NYSE:KAI), ANI Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ANIP), and The Marcus Corporation (NYSE:MCS). This group of stocks’ market caps are similar to KELYA’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
SAND 15 61450 3
KAI 11 66354 -6
ANIP 12 98908 -5
MCS 14 63696 -2
Average 13 72602 -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 $73 million. That figure was $24 million in KELYA’s case. Sandstorm Gold Ltd. (NYSE:SAND) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Kadant Inc. (NYSE:KAI) is the least popular one with only 11 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:KELYA) is even less popular than KAI. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards KELYA. Our calculations showed that the top 20 most popular hedge fund stocks returned 24.4% in 2019 through September 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 4 percentage points. Unfortunately KELYA wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); KELYA investors were disappointed as the stock returned -7.3% during the third quarter and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in 2019.

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