Is Unum Group (UNM) A Good Stock To Buy?

Insider Monkey finished processing more than 700 13F filings made by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds’ portfolio positions as of September 30th. What do these smart investors think about Unum Group (NYSE:UNM)?

Unum Group was in 28 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. The number hedge funds in UNM didn’t changed in comparison to the Q2 numbers. 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 The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NASDAQ:GT), Mettler-Toledo International Inc. (NYSE:MTD), and KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC) to gather more data points.

Follow Unum Group (NYSE:UNM)

Today there are numerous signals market participants can use to analyze their holdings. Two of the most underrated signals are hedge fund and insider trading moves. Our research have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite money managers can outpace their index-focused peers by a very impressive margin (see the details here).

Now, we’re going to go over the new action regarding Unum Group (NYSE:UNM).

How have hedgies been trading Unum Group (NYSE:UNM)?

At the end of the third quarter, a total of 28 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish in this stock, a change of 0% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, AQR Capital Management, managed by Cliff Asness, holds the largest position in Unum Group (NYSE:UNM). AQR Capital Management has a $118 million position in the stock, comprising 0.2% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, which held a $40.3 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that are bullish consist of Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital, Anand Parekh’s Alyeska Investment Group and Clint Carlson’s Carlson Capital.

Because Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) has faced declining sentiment from hedge fund managers, we can see that there were a few hedge funds that elected to cut their full holdings heading into Q4. Intriguingly, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies dumped the biggest stake of the 700 funds watched by Insider Monkey, totaling about $25.8 million in stock. David Harding’s fund, Winton Capital Management, also sold off its stock, about $6.3 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 go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Unum Group (NYSE:UNM). We will take a look at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NASDAQ:GT), Mettler-Toledo International Inc. (NYSE:MTD), KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC), and Interpublic Group of Companies Inc (NYSE:IPG). All of these stocks’ market caps are similar to UNM’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
GT 36 1707910 -6
MTD 21 360217 10
KLAC 28 256410 4
IPG 36 2103222 -5

As you can see these stocks had an average of 30.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1.1 billion. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NASDAQ:GT) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Mettler-Toledo International Inc. (NYSE:MTD) is the least popular one with only 21 bullish hedge fund positions. Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. This is a slightly negative signal and we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. In this regard GT might be a better candidate to consider a long position.