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Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (VAR): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

As aggregate interest increased, key money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, created the largest position in Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (NYSE:VAR). Renaissance Technologies had $21 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors also made a $14.1 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Anders Hallberg and Carl Bennet’s HealthInvest Partners AB, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, and Nick Niell’s Arrowgrass Capital Partners.

Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (NYSE:VAR) but similarly valued. These stocks are Fortinet Inc (NASDAQ:FTNT), Restaurant Brands International Inc (NYSE:QSR), Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (NYSE:SXL), and Cooper Companies Inc (NYSE:COO). This group of stocks’ market caps are closest to VAR’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
FTNT 36 370618 10
QSR 29 2448593 -8
SXL 9 67145 -1
COO 29 532699 2

As you can see these stocks had an average of 25.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $855 million. That figure was $472 million in VAR’s case. Fortinet Inc (NASDAQ:FTNT) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (NYSE:SXL) is the least popular one with only 9 bullish hedge fund positions. Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (NYSE:VAR) 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. In this regard FTNT might be a better candidate to consider a long position.

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