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Should You Avoid Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (JLL)?

Insider Monkey has processed numerous 13F filings of hedge funds and successful value investors to create an extensive database of hedge fund holdings. The 13F filings show the hedge funds’ and successful investors’ positions as of the end of the first quarter. You can find articles about an individual hedge fund’s trades on numerous financial news websites. However, in this article we will take a look at their collective moves over the last 4.5 years and analyze what the smart money thinks of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE:JLL) based on that data.

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE:JLL) investors should pay attention to a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money of late. JLL was in 26 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of March. There were 30 hedge funds in our database with JLL positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that JLL 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.

In the financial world there are a large number of tools investors have at their disposal to grade stocks. A pair of the most under-the-radar tools are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a solid amount. Insider Monkey’s monthly stock picks returned 101% since March 2017 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 58 percentage points. Our short strategy outperformed the S&P 500 short ETFs by 20 percentage points annually (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is a useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Ken Heebner of Capital Growth Management

We leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, we believe electric vehicles and energy storage are set to become giant markets, and we want to take advantage of the declining lithium prices amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So we are checking out investment opportunities like these. 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. Keeping this in mind let’s take a peek at the recent hedge fund action surrounding Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE:JLL).

How are hedge funds trading Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE:JLL)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 26 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -13% from the previous quarter. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in JLL over the last 18 quarters. So, let’s review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Is JLL A Good Stock To Buy?

Among these funds, Generation Investment Management held the most valuable stake in Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE:JLL), which was worth $483.9 million at the end of the third quarter. On the second spot was Ariel Investments which amassed $81 million worth of shares. Diamond Hill Capital, Long Pond Capital, and Motley Fool Asset Management 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 Oasis Management allocated the biggest weight to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE:JLL), around 5.11% of its 13F portfolio. Marlowe Partners is also relatively very bullish on the stock, dishing out 3.49 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to JLL.

Because Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE:JLL) has experienced bearish sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, we can see that there was a specific group of hedge funds that slashed their entire stakes by the end of the first quarter. Intriguingly, Ken Heebner’s Capital Growth Management dumped the largest stake of the 750 funds followed by Insider Monkey, valued at close to $32.2 million in stock. Anand Parekh’s fund, Alyeska Investment Group, also dropped its stock, about $26.1 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest fell by 4 funds by the end of the first quarter.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE:JLL) but similarly valued. We will take a look at American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL), CubeSmart (NYSE:CUBE), Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO), and Wix.Com Ltd (NASDAQ:WIX). This group of stocks’ market valuations are closest to JLL’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
AAL 36 681734 -5
CUBE 18 185612 -9
PSO 8 10618 3
WIX 29 597387 -5
Average 22.75 368838 -4

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 22.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $369 million. That figure was $660 million in JLL’s case. American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO) is the least popular one with only 8 bullish hedge fund positions. Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE:JLL) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. This is a slightly positive signal but we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. 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 8.3% in 2020 through the end of May but beat the market by 13.2 percentage points. Unfortunately JLL wasn’t nearly as popular as these 10 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on JLL were disappointed as the stock returned 1.4% during the same time period and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market so far this year.

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