Vista Outdoor Inc (VSTO), Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (HRC), West Corp (WSTC): Alyeska Investment’s Top Small-Caps

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Anand Parekh’s Alyeska Investment Group is known for its diversified investments across different industries. This was confirmed by the fund’s latest 13 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the reporting period of March 31. The filing showed that the firm has strong interests in healthcare, technology, finance, and services stocks, among several other market segments. At the end of the first quarter, Alyeska Investment Group had a public equity portfolio valued at $6.83 billion, representing a $1.23 billion increase compared to the previous reporting period three months earlier. Parekh founded the fund in 2008 and has been applying a market neutral strategy that incorporates both short and long-term positions ever since. The firm’s growth is quite evident, having risen from the $2.5-$3.0 billion that it managed in 2011 to its current portfolio size. Insider Monkey has had keen interest in this hedge fund, owing to its investment strategy, value, and performance and has thus been monitoring it among the 729 other actively filing hedge funds we currently follow. In this article we’ll focus mainly on the fund’s top small-cap stocks, Vista Outdoor Inc (NYSE:VSTO), Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HRC), and West Corp (NASDAQ:WSTC).

Vista Outdoor

Let’s first take a step back and analyze how tracking hedge funds can help an everyday investor. Through our research we discovered that a portfolio of the 15 most popular small-cap picks of hedge funds beat the S&P 500 Total Return Index by nearly a percentage point per month on average between 1999 and 2012. On the other hand the most popular large-cap picks of hedge funds underperformed the same index by seven basis points per month during the same period. This is likely a surprise to many investors, who think of small-caps as risky, unpredictable stocks and put more faith in large-cap stocks. In forward tests since August 2012 these top small-cap stocks beat the market by an impressive 84 percentage points, returning over 144% (read the details here). Hence a retail investor needs to isolate himself from the herd and take advantage of the best growth opportunities in the market by concentrating on small-cap stocks.

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The fund’s 13F filing showed that it held a total of 1.41 million shares of Vista Outdoor Inc (NYSE:VSTO) with a market value of $60.38 million, which was also one of its new purchases. The company designs, manufactures, and markets consumer products for the outdoor and recreation sectors. Vista Outdoor Inc (NYSE:VSTO) is on a robust move to expand its portfolio and will be locating its corporate headquarters in Farmington, Utah. The company said that the move will see it create jobs in Utah, being an epicenter for outdoor recreation and business activities. The stock is doing great from analysts’ perspective, having been given a “Buy” recommendation by analysts at Wunderlich. Vista Outdoor Inc (NYSE:VSTO) came short of Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate, posting $0.47 in earnings, while estimates had it pegged at $0.58. For the current financial year, the stock is expected to post earnings per share of $2.15. 20 hedge funds were invested in the stock, which had its IPO during the first quarter. Those funds had an aggregate investment of $655.32 million and included David Cohen and Harold Levy’s Iridian Asset Management, which held 2.79 million shares.

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