Russian Anxiety, Downgrade Sends Shares of Yandex NV (YNDX) Lower

Although the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 are in the green, Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX) is off around $1 or 4.3% in Friday afternoon trading due to the combination of a Wall Street downgrade and Russian jitters. Ratings-wise, Standpoint Research downgraded Russia’s leading search engine to ‘Hold’ from ‘Buy’, citing the stock’s rally up to this point. While shares of Yandex have been weak recently, they were nevertheless up 13% year-to-date before today, likely leading to some profit taking.

In addition, some traders could be selling Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX) due to the recent Syrian news, where the U.S. launched almost 60 cruise missiles against an Syrian air-force base in retaliation for Assad using chemical weapons against his own people. Given that Russia supports Assad, the missile strike could mean the lifting of sanctions against Russia/a general thawing of relations between the U.S. and Russia is further away. If Russian relations with the U.S. sour, sentiment around Yandex, which is Russia’s leading search engine, could head lower.

What Does The Smart Money Sentiment Say?

At Insider Monkey, we’ve developed an investment strategy that has delivered market-beating returns over the past 12 months. Our strategy identifies the 100 best-performing funds of the previous quarter from among the collection of 700+ successful funds that we track in our database, which we accomplish using our returns methodology. We then study the portfolios of those 100 funds using the latest 13F data to uncover the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks (market caps of between $1 billion and $10 billion) among them to hold until the next filing period. This strategy delivered 39.7% gains over the past 12 months and outperformed the 24.1% gain enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs. Our enhanced small-cap hedge fund strategy returned more than 45% over the last 12 months and outperformed SPY by more than 30 percentage points over the last 4.5 years (see details here).

Smart money sentiment surrounding Yandex has been stable. Of the 742 elite funds we track, 31 funds owned $316.03 million of Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX) and accounted for 4.90% of the float on December 31, versus 31 funds and $389.01 million respectively on September 30.

The Bottom Line

Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX) shares are lower due to the combination of Russian anxiety and a Wall Street analyst downgrade. For more reading, check out ‘Top 10 Google Searches in 2015‘.