Is LVS A Good Stock To Buy Now?

We at Insider Monkey have gone over 817 13F filings that hedge funds and prominent investors are required to file by the SEC The 13F filings show the funds’ and investors’ portfolio positions as of September 30th. In this article, we look at what those funds think of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) based on that data.

Is LVS a good stock to buy now? Hedge fund interest in Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) shares was flat at the end of last quarter. This is usually a negative indicator. Our calculations also showed that LVS 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). The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU), Ambev SA (NYSE:ABEV), and Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD) to gather more data points.

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

According to most market participants, hedge funds are viewed as slow, outdated financial tools of the past. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open at the moment, We choose to focus on the crème de la crème of this group, about 850 funds. It is estimated that this group of investors orchestrate the majority of the hedge fund industry’s total asset base, and by tracking their highest performing equity investments, Insider Monkey has unearthed a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed the market. Insider Monkey’s flagship short hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points a year since its inception in March 2017. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 13% since February 2017 (through November 17th) even though the market was up 65% during the same period. We just shared a list of 6 short targets in our latest quarterly update .

Ken Griffin

Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, the House passed a landmark bill decriminalizing marijuana. So, we are checking out this under the radar cannabis stock right now. We go through lists like the 15 best blue chip stocks to buy 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. Now we’re going to take a look at the fresh hedge fund action encompassing Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS).

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

At Q3’s end, a total of 47 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 0% from the second quarter of 2020. By comparison, 42 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in LVS a year ago. So, let’s examine which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Is LVS A Good Stock To Buy?

More specifically, Melvin Capital Management was the largest shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), with a stake worth $467.5 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Melvin Capital Management was Viking Global, which amassed a stake valued at $400.8 million. D1 Capital Partners, Citadel Investment Group, and Point72 Asset Management 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 Cumberland Associates / Springowl Associates allocated the biggest weight to Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), around 16.28% of its 13F portfolio. King Street Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 5.85 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to LVS.

Seeing as Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) has faced falling interest from the smart money, it’s easy to see that there is a sect of hedgies who were dropping their entire stakes in the third quarter. Interestingly,  Renaissance Technologies dropped the largest position of all the hedgies monitored by Insider Monkey, valued at about $36.9 million in stock. John Overdeck and David Siegel’s fund, Two Sigma Advisors, also dropped its stock, about $22.7 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

Let’s now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS). These stocks are Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU), Ambev SA (NYSE:ABEV), Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD), Twilio Inc. (NYSE:TWLO), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), and Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS). This group of stocks’ market caps are similar to LVS’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
BIDU 43 2804691 -6
ABEV 21 347744 8
VOD 22 677025 6
TWLO 71 3474887 5
COP 45 828871 1
TWTR 75 2151017 7
CTAS 38 741729 4
Average 45 1575138 3.6

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 45 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1575 million. That figure was $2191 million in LVS’s case. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Ambev SA (NYSE:ABEV) is the least popular one with only 21 bullish hedge fund positions. Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for LVS is 59.1. 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. 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 32.9% in 2020 through December 8th and still beat the market by 16.2 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on LVS as the stock returned 25.5% since the end of Q3 (through 12/8) and outperformed the market. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.

Follow Las Vegas Sands Corp (NYSE:LVS)

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