VCA Inc (WOOF): Hedge Funds Are Snapping Up

Is VCA Inc (NASDAQ:WOOF) a good stock to buy right now? We at Insider Monkey like to examine what billionaires and hedge funds think of a company before doing days of research on it. Given their 2 and 20 payment structure, hedge funds have more resources than the average investor. The funds have access to expert networks and get tips from industry insiders. They also have numerous Ivy League graduates and MBAs. Like everyone else, hedge funds perform miserably at times, but their consensus picks have historically outperformed the market after risk adjustments.

VCA Inc (NASDAQ:WOOF) was in 38 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2015. WOOF investors should pay attention to an increase in enthusiasm from smart money in recent months. There were 30 hedge funds in our database with WOOF positions at the end of the previous quarter. The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity, but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC), King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING), and Orbital ATK Inc (NYSE:OA) to gather more data points.

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Today there are dozens of metrics investors use to assess their stock investments. A pair of the most innovative metrics are hedge fund and insider trading moves. Our researchers have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best hedge fund managers can outpace the market by a significant amount (see the details here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at the recent action regarding VCA Inc (NASDAQ:WOOF).

What have hedge funds been doing with VCA Inc (NASDAQ:WOOF)?

Heading into Q4, a total of 38 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, an increase of 27% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Larry Robbins’ Glenview Capital has the most valuable position in VCA Inc (NASDAQ:WOOF), worth close to $425.1 million, comprising 2.1% of its total 13F portfolio. The second most bullish fund manager is Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, with a $75 million position; 0.2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other members of the smart money that are bullish comprise D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, Clifford Fox’s Columbus Circle Investors and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds were leading the bulls’ herd. Point72 Asset Management, managed by Steve Cohen, established the most outsized position in VCA Antech Inc (NASDAQ:WOOF). According to its latest 13F filing, the fund had $16.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Ken Grossman and Glen Schneider’s SG Capital Management also initiated an $11.8 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new WOOF investors: Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management, Richard Driehaus’s Driehaus Capital, and Brad Dunkley and Blair Levinsky’s Waratah Capital Advisors.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to VCA Inc (NASDAQ:WOOF). These stocks are Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC), King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING), Orbital ATK Inc (NYSE:OA), and ICON plc – Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:ICLR). This group of stocks’ market values match WOOF’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
ISBC 26 689935 -8
KING 18 303994 -6
OA 33 756743 3
ICLR 27 223656 4

As you can see these stocks had an average of 26 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $494 million. Orbital ATK Inc (NYSE:OA) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING) is the least popular one with only 18 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks VCA Inc (NASDAQ:WOOF) is more popular among hedge funds. The company also managed to attract $839 million of the hedge funds’ money, which is considerably higher than the average of the group. Considering that top funds are fond of this stock in relation to its market cap peers, it may be a good idea to analyze it in detail and potentially include it in your portfolio.