Was The Smart Money Right About Monster Beverage Corp (MNST)?

Our extensive research has shown that imitating the smart money can generate significant returns for retail investors, which is why we track nearly 900 active prominent money managers and analyze their quarterly 13F filings. The stocks that are heavily bought by hedge funds historically outperformed the market, though there is no shortage of high profile failures like hedge funds’ 2018 losses in Facebook and Apple. Let’s take a closer look at what the funds we track think about Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST) in this article.

Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST) was in 44 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of December. The all time high for this statistic is 50. MNST has seen a decrease in hedge fund sentiment of late. There were 50 hedge funds in our database with MNST positions at the end of the third quarter. Our calculations also showed that MNST isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q4 rankings).

At the moment there are tons of gauges stock traders put to use to size up stocks. A duo of the best gauges are hedge fund and insider trading interest. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite fund managers can beat the S&P 500 by a solid margin (see the details here). Also, our monthly newsletter’s portfolio of long stock picks returned 197% since March 2017 (through March 2021) and beat the S&P 500 Index by 124 percentage points. You can download a sample issue of this newsletter on our website .

Matthew Hulsizer PEAK6 Capital

Matthew Hulsizer of PEAK6 Capital

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, lithium mining is one of the fastest growing industries right now, so we are checking out stock pitches like this emerging lithium stock. We go through lists like the 10 best hydrogen fuel cell 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. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our homepage. With all of this in mind we’re going to take a peek at the recent hedge fund action encompassing Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST).

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

At Q4’s end, a total of 44 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -12% from one quarter earlier. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in MNST over the last 22 quarters. With the smart money’s 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).

Is MNST A Good Stock To Buy?

Among these funds, Renaissance Technologies held the most valuable stake in Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST), which was worth $946 million at the end of the fourth quarter. On the second spot was Broadwood Capital which amassed $430.6 million worth of shares. AQR Capital Management, D E Shaw, and Marshall Wace LLP 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 Broadwood Capital allocated the biggest weight to Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST), around 25.55% of its 13F portfolio. Lakehouse Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 9.49 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to MNST.

Because Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST) has witnessed bearish sentiment from hedge fund managers, it’s safe to say that there exists a select few fund managers that decided to sell off their entire stakes heading into Q1. Intriguingly, Jeff Lignelli’s Incline Global Management dumped the biggest position of the 750 funds followed by Insider Monkey, totaling close to $19.6 million in stock, and Robert Pitts’s Steadfast Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $11 million worth. These bearish behaviors are important to note, as total hedge fund interest fell by 6 funds heading into Q1.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST). We will take a look at Honda Motor Co Ltd (NYSE:HMC), America Movil SAB de CV (NYSE:AMX), Aon plc (NYSE:AON), Prudential Public Limited Company (NYSE:PUK), Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE:EMR), Ambev SA (NYSE:ABEV), and Newmont Corporation (NYSE:NEM). This group of stocks’ market caps are similar to MNST’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
HMC 12 393981 1
AMX 16 169899 1
AON 63 5799552 11
PUK 2 5988 -2
EMR 46 1044004 10
ABEV 18 306765 -3
NEM 50 1213292 -5
Average 29.6 1276212 1.9

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 29.6 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1276 million. That figure was $2837 million in MNST’s case. Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Prudential Public Limited Company (NYSE:PUK) is the least popular one with only 2 bullish hedge fund positions. Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for MNST is 59.8. 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. This is a slightly positive signal but we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. Our calculations showed that top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 90.7% in 2019 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 35 percentage points. These stocks gained 13.6% in 2021 through April 30th and beat the market again by 1.6 percentage points. Unfortunately MNST wasn’t nearly as popular as these 10 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on MNST were disappointed as the stock returned 4.9% since the end of December (through 4/30) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market since 2019.

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