In this article you are going to find out whether hedge funds think Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA) is a good investment right now. We like to check what the smart money thinks first before doing extensive research on a given stock. Although there have been several high profile failed hedge fund picks, the consensus picks among hedge fund investors have historically outperformed the market after adjusting for known risk attributes. It’s not surprising given that hedge funds have access to better information and more resources to predict the winners in the stock market.
Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA) was in 44 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. The all time high for this statistic is 49. VOYA investors should pay attention to a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers recently. There were 49 hedge funds in our database with VOYA holdings at the end of September. Our calculations also showed that VOYA isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q4 rankings).
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Do Hedge Funds Think VOYA Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?
At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 44 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -10% from the third quarter of 2020. On the other hand, there were a total of 43 hedge funds with a bullish position in VOYA a year ago. So, let’s examine which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.
When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, Samlyn Capital, managed by Robert Pohly, holds the most valuable position in Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA). Samlyn Capital has a $311 million position in the stock, comprising 4.5% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Richard S. Pzena of Pzena Investment Management, with a $270.8 million position; 1.3% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining peers that hold long positions consist of Michael A. Price and Amos Meron’s Empyrean Capital Partners, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Strycker View Capital allocated the biggest weight to Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA), around 7.12% of its 13F portfolio. Samlyn Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, dishing out 4.45 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to VOYA.
Judging by the fact that Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA) has faced falling interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, logic holds that there exists a select few hedge funds that elected to cut their full holdings last quarter. At the top of the heap, Emanuel J. Friedman’s EJF Capital sold off the biggest position of the 750 funds watched by Insider Monkey, worth close to $17.2 million in stock. Michael Gelband’s fund, ExodusPoint Capital, also cut its stock, about $11 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 5 funds last quarter.
Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA) but similarly valued. These stocks are Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR), Cenovus Energy Inc (NYSE:CVE), Skillz Inc. (NYSE:SKLZ), InVitae Corporation (NYSE:NVTA), Bausch Health Companies (NYSE:BHC), US Foods Holding Corp. (NYSE:USFD), and Arrow Electronics, Inc. (NYSE:ARW). This group of stocks’ market values match VOYA’s market value.
|Ticker||No of HFs with positions||Total Value of HF Positions (x1000)||Change in HF Position|
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As you can see these stocks had an average of 33.7 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1334 million. That figure was $1190 million in VOYA’s case. US Foods Holding Corp. (NYSE:USFD) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Cenovus Energy Inc (NYSE:CVE) is the least popular one with only 23 bullish hedge fund positions. Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for VOYA is 76.9. 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. 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 still beat the market by 1.6 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on VOYA as the stock returned 15.6% since the end of Q4 (through 4/30) and outperformed the market. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.
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Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.