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Should You Buy Ryanair Holdings plc (RYAAY)?

The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. We have processed the filings of the more than 700 world-class investment firms that we track and now have access to the collective wisdom contained in these filings, which are based on their September 30 holdings, data that is available nowhere else. Should you consider Ryanair Holdings plc (NASDAQ:RYAAY) for your portfolio? We’ll look to this invaluable collective wisdom for the answer.

Ryanair Holdings plc (NASDAQ:RYAAY) has seen an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds of late. Our calculations also showed that RYAAY isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the market by 18 percentage points since May 2014 through December 3, 2018 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

Julian Robertson, Tiger Management

We’re going to go over the recent hedge fund action surrounding Ryanair Holdings plc (NASDAQ:RYAAY).

How have hedgies been trading Ryanair Holdings plc (NASDAQ:RYAAY)?

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2018, a total of 13 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 44% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards RYAAY over the last 13 quarters. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

RYAAY_dec2018

According to Insider Monkey’s hedge fund database, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies has the biggest position in Ryanair Holdings plc (NASDAQ:RYAAY), worth close to $264.6 million, accounting for 0.3% of its total 13F portfolio. The second most bullish fund manager is Michael Moriarty of Teewinot Capital Advisers, with a $18.6 million position; 6% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Other hedge funds and institutional investors with similar optimism include Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management and James Woodson Davis’s Woodson Capital Management.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, specific money managers have been driving this bullishness. Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, assembled the most outsized position in Ryanair Holdings plc (NASDAQ:RYAAY). Citadel Investment Group had $10.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Paul Marshall and Ian Wace’s Marshall Wace LLP also initiated a $1.6 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new RYAAY positions are David Costen Haley’s HBK Investments, Matthew Hulsizer’s PEAK6 Capital Management, and Gavin Saitowitz and Cisco J. del Valle’s Springbok Capital.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Ryanair Holdings plc (NASDAQ:RYAAY) but similarly valued. These stocks are Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN), Liberty Global Plc (NASDAQ:LBTYK), and IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDXX). All of these stocks’ market caps are similar to RYAAY’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
BBY 27 1563258 -3
TSN 39 1590018 8
LBTYK 41 3979823 1
IDXX 35 1184985 2
Average 35.5 2079521 2

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 35.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $2.08 billion. That figure was $319 million in RYAAY’s case. Liberty Global Plc (NASDAQ:LBTYK) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) is the least popular one with only 27 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Ryanair Holdings plc (NASDAQ:RYAAY) is even less popular than BBY. Considering that hedge funds aren’t fond of this stock in relation to other companies analyzed in this article, it may be a good idea to analyze it in detail and understand why the smart money isn’t behind this stock. This isn’t necessarily bad news. Although it is possible that hedge funds may think the stock is overpriced and view the stock as a short candidate, they may not be very familiar with the bullish thesis. In either case more research is warranted.

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

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