SunOpta, Inc. (STKL): Hedge Funds Are Taking Some Chips Off The Table

The 800+ hedge funds and famous money managers tracked by Insider Monkey have already compiled and submitted their 13F filings for the second quarter, which unveil their equity positions as of September 30th. We went through these filings, fixed typos and other more significant errors and identified the changes in hedge fund portfolios. Our extensive review of these public filings is finally over, so this article is set to reveal the smart money sentiment towards SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL).

SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) has seen a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds recently. SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) was in 24 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. The all time high for this statistic is 26. Our calculations also showed that STKL isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings).

Philip Hempleman Ardsley Partners

Philip Hempleman of Ardsley Partners

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, lithium prices have more than doubled over the past year, so we go through lists like the 10 best EV stocks to pick the next Tesla that will deliver a 10x return. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. With all of this in mind let’s view the fresh hedge fund action surrounding SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL).

Do Hedge Funds Think STKL Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2021, a total of 24 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -8% from the second quarter of 2021. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards STKL over the last 25 quarters. So, let’s find out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Is STKL A Good Stock To Buy?

Among these funds, Oaktree Capital Management held the most valuable stake in SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL), which was worth $185.1 million at the end of the third quarter. On the second spot was Engaged Capital which amassed $87.8 million worth of shares. Ardsley Partners, Woodline Partners, and Portolan Capital 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 Engaged Capital allocated the biggest weight to SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL), around 6.31% of its 13F portfolio. Ardsley Partners is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 4.37 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to STKL.

Because SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) has witnessed bearish sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, we can see that there were a few funds who were dropping their full holdings heading into Q4. Interestingly, Brad Dunkley and Blair Levinsky’s Waratah Capital Advisors said goodbye to the biggest stake of the “upper crust” of funds monitored by Insider Monkey, valued at an estimated $5.4 million in stock, and Charles Davidson and Joseph Jacobs’s Wexford Capital was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $1.2 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 2 funds heading into Q4.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) but similarly valued. These stocks are FLEX LNG Ltd. (NYSE:FLNG), Gossamer Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOSS), Kearny Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:KRNY), TPG RE Finance Trust, Inc. (NYSE:TRTX), Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:VNDA), IES Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:IESC), and Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI). This group of stocks’ market caps match STKL’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
FLNG 3 7792 -3
GOSS 20 205852 2
KRNY 19 124973 0
TRTX 12 27916 2
VNDA 16 203639 -1
IESC 14 592480 1
GCI 18 147231 0
Average 14.6 187126 0.1

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 14.6 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $187 million. That figure was $416 million in STKL’s case. Gossamer Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOSS) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand FLEX LNG Ltd. (NYSE:FLNG) is the least popular one with only 3 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) is more popular among hedge funds. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for STKL is 80.7. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Our calculations showed that top 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 95.8% in 2019 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 40 percentage points. These stocks gained 31.1% in 2021 through December 9th and still beat the market by 5.1 percentage points. Unfortunately STKL wasn’t nearly as popular as these 5 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on STKL were disappointed as the stock returned -25.9% since the end of the third quarter (through 12/9) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds as most of these stocks already outperformed the market since 2019.

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