It seems that the masses and most of the financial media hate hedge funds and what they do, but why is this hatred of hedge funds so prominent? At the end of the day, these asset management firms do not gamble the hard-earned money of the people who are on the edge of poverty. Truth be told, most hedge fund managers and other smaller players within this industry are very smart and skilled investors. Of course, they may also make wrong bets in some instances, but no one knows what the future holds and how market participants will react to the bountiful news that floods in each day. The S&P 500 Index gained 7.6% in the 12 month-period that ended November 21, while less than 49% of its stocks beat the benchmark. In contrast, the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks among the top hedge fund investors tracked by the Insider Monkey team returned 18% over the same period, which provides evidence that these money managers do have great stock picking abilities. That’s why we believe it isn’t a waste of time to check out hedge fund sentiment before you invest in a stock like Bankrate Inc (NYSE:RATE).
Is Bankrate Inc (NYSE:RATE) a buy, sell, or hold? It looks like smart money is becoming slightly less hopeful, as the number of bullish bets on the stock inched down by one during the third quarter. In this way, 17 funds from our database held shares of Bankrate at the end of September. 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 ANI Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ANIP), Essendant Inc (NASDAQ:ESND), and Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE:HT) to gather more data points.
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 18% gains over the past 12 months, more than doubling the 8% returns enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs.
Keeping this in mind, we’re going to go over the recent action surrounding Bankrate Inc (NYSE:RATE).
How have hedgies been trading Bankrate Inc (NYSE:RATE)?
At the end of September, a total of 17 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, down by 6% from the previous quarter. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in RATE over the last five quarters. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes meaningfully (or already accumulated large positions).
According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Renaissance Technologies, one of the biggest hedge funds in the world, holds the most valuable position in Bankrate Inc (NYSE:RATE) which has a $15.6 million position in the stock. Coming in second is David E. Shaw of D E Shaw which holds a $14 million position. Other professional money managers that are bullish encompass Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital, Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital Management, and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management. 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.