Is Vera Bradley, Inc. (VRA) Worthy of Your Portfolio?

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The Insider Monkey team has completed processing the quarterly 13F filings for the September quarter submitted by the hedge funds and other money managers included in our extensive database. Most hedge funds have been producing disappointing net returns in recent years, however that was partly due to the poor performance of small-cap stocks in general. Well, small-cap stocks finally turned the corner and have been beating the large-cap stocks by more than 10 percentage points over the last 5 months.This means the relevancy of hedge funds’ public filings became inarguable, as they may reveal numerous high-potential stocks. The following article will discuss the smart money sentiment towards Vera Bradley, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRA).

Vera Bradley, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRA) shares didn’t see a lot of action during the third quarter. Overall, hedge fund sentiment was unchanged and there were 16 funds tracked by Insider Monkey long the stock at the end of September. At the end of this article we will also compare VRA to other stocks including Nanometrics Incorporated (NASDAQ:NANO), PDL BioPharma Inc. (NASDAQ:PDLI), and Inteliquent (NASDAQ:IQNT) to get a better sense of its popularity.

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We care about hedge fund sentiment because historically hedge funds’ stock picks delivered strong risk adjusted returns. There are certain segments of the market where hedge funds’ stock picks performed much better than its benchmarks. For instance, the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks among the best performing hedge funds returned 18% over the last 12 months outpacing S&P 500 Index by more than 10 percentage points. We developed this strategy 2.5 years ago and started sharing its picks in our quarterly newsletter. It bested the S&P 500 Index ETFs by delivering a solid 39% vs. 22% gain for its benchmarks.

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Now, let’s take a glance at the new action surrounding Vera Bradley, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRA).

What have hedge funds been doing with Vera Bradley, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRA)?

At Q3’s end, a total of 16 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, unchanged over the quarter. By comparison, 12 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in VRA heading into this year. So, let’s check out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.
Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Daruma Asset Management, led by Mariko Gordon, holds the biggest position in Vera Bradley, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRA). Daruma Asset Management has a $49.7 million position in the stock, comprising 3% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Renaissance Technologies, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, with a $21.5 million position; less than 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining peers that hold long positions comprise Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates, Joel Ramin’s 12 West Capital Management and D E Shaw. We should note that none of these hedge funds are among our list of the 100 best performing hedge funds which is based on the performance of their 13F long positions in non-microcap stocks.

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