Traders Are Keeping A Close Watch On These Five Stocks Today

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Seeing as earnings season is beginning in earnest, many investors are paying careful attention to the markets to gauge the state of individual companies as well as broader sectors and industries. Among the stocks experiencing greater than normal interest today are First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC), Laredo Petroleum Inc (NYSE:LPI), Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU), Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE), and BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK). In this article, we’ll find out why each stock is trending and use SEC filings to determine how hedge funds are positioned in them.

At Insider Monkey, we track around 765 hedge funds and institutional investors. Through extensive backtests, we have determined that imitating some of the stocks that these investors are collectively bullish on, can help retail investors generate double digits of alpha per year. The key is to focus on the small-cap picks of these funds, which are usually less followed by the broader market and allow for larger price inefficiencies (see the details here).

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First Republic Reports Earnings

First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC) reported mixed second quarter results, earning $0.97 per share on revenue of $535.08 million for the period. The results beat the bottom-line consensus estimate by $0.06 per share but missed the top-line consensus by $33.45 million. Core net interest margin for the quarter was 3.16%, up from 3.14% in the prior quarter. The bank’s efficiency ratio came in at 59.8% while tangible book value increased by 13.8% to $32.53 per share. Of the 766 active funds that we track, 19 funds owned $138.93 million worth of First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC) shares on March 31, which accounted for 1.50% of the stock’s float.

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Laredo In Expansion Mode

Laredo Petroleum Inc (NYSE:LPI) announced today that it has signed a purchase agreement to buy additional acreage within the Midland Basin for $125 million. The purchase adds around 9,200 net acres to Laredo’s holdings, including 6,300 net acres in the Spraberry interval and 2,900 net acres in the Spraberry, Canyon, Cline, Upper, Middle and Lower Wolfcamp zones. Management expects the acquisition to improve capital efficiencies and to deliver value to shareholders in the long term. 15 funds in our system owned shares of Laredo Petroleum Inc (NYSE:LPI) as of the most recent 13F reporting period.

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On the next page we’ll examine the latest news driving the trading action on shares of Lululemon Athletica, Cree Inc, and BlackRock Inc this morning.

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