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Is Petmed Express Inc (PETS) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

In this article we will check out the progression of hedge fund sentiment towards Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ:PETS) and determine whether it is a good investment right now. We at Insider Monkey like to examine what billionaires and hedge funds think of a company before spending days of research on it. Given their 2 and 20 payment structure, hedge funds have more incentives and resources than the average investor. The funds have access to expert networks and get tips from industry insiders. They also employ numerous Ivy League graduates and MBAs. Like everyone else, hedge funds perform miserably at times, but their consensus picks have historically outperformed the market after risk adjustments.

Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ:PETS) shareholders have witnessed a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money of late. PETS was in 18 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2020. There were 19 hedge funds in our database with PETS holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that PETS isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 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.

So, why do we pay attention to hedge fund sentiment before making any investment decisions? Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 58 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter. Even if you aren’t comfortable with shorting stocks, you should at least avoid initiating long positions in stocks that are in our short portfolio.

Peter Rathjens Arrowstreet Capital 394

Peter Rathjens of Arrowstreet Capital

We leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example Europe is set to become the world’s largest cannabis market, so we check out this European marijuana stock pitch. We interview hedge fund managers and ask them about their best ideas. If you want to find out the best healthcare stock to buy right now, you can watch our latest hedge fund manager interview here. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when the S&P 500 was trading at 3150 after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. With all of this in mind we’re going to take a look at the latest hedge fund action encompassing Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ:PETS).

What have hedge funds been doing with Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ:PETS)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 18 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -5% from one quarter earlier. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards PETS over the last 18 quarters. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

Is PETS A Good Stock To Buy?

More specifically, Renaissance Technologies was the largest shareholder of Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ:PETS), with a stake worth $46.5 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Renaissance Technologies was Arrowstreet Capital, which amassed a stake valued at $17.4 million. GLG Partners, Newtyn Management, and D E Shaw 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 Newtyn Management allocated the biggest weight to Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ:PETS), around 2.26% of its 13F portfolio. Ellington is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 0.5 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to PETS.

Due to the fact that Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ:PETS) has experienced declining sentiment from the smart money, logic holds that there lies a certain “tier” of money managers that slashed their full holdings heading into Q4. Intriguingly, Daniel S. Och’s OZ Management said goodbye to the biggest investment of the “upper crust” of funds monitored by Insider Monkey, worth close to $2.2 million in stock, and Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $1.5 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest fell by 1 funds heading into Q4.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ:PETS) but similarly valued. These stocks are Redwood Trust, Inc. (NYSE:RWT), Greenbrier Companies Inc (NYSE:GBX), TechTarget Inc (NASDAQ:TTGT), and Owens & Minor, Inc. (NYSE:OMI). This group of stocks’ market values match PETS’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
RWT 22 66955 9
GBX 8 13726 -4
TTGT 14 60057 -2
OMI 16 70459 5
Average 15 52799 2

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 15 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $53 million. That figure was $113 million in PETS’s case. Redwood Trust, Inc. (NYSE:RWT) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Greenbrier Companies Inc (NYSE:GBX) is the least popular one with only 8 bullish hedge fund positions. Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ:PETS) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our calculations showed that top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks gained 13.4% in 2020 through June 22nd but still beat the market by 15.9 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on PETS as the stock returned 29.8% in Q2 (through June 22nd) and outperformed the market. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.

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