Were Hedge Funds Right About Dumping Northern Trust Corporation (NTRS)?

Insider Monkey has processed numerous 13F filings of hedge funds and successful value investors to create an extensive database of hedge fund holdings. The 13F filings show the hedge funds’ and successful investors’ positions as of the end of the second quarter. You can find write-ups about an individual hedge fund’s trades on numerous financial news websites. However, in this article we will take a look at their collective moves and analyze what the smart money thinks of Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS) based on that data.

Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS) has experienced a decrease in hedge fund sentiment lately. NTRS was in 29 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of June. There were 34 hedge funds in our database with NTRS positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that NTRS isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

To the average investor there are a multitude of metrics market participants can use to assess stocks. Two 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 money managers can trounce the broader indices by a healthy margin (see the details here).

Mario Gabelli with cereal box

Unlike some fund managers who are betting on Dow reaching 40000 in a year, our long-short investment strategy doesn’t rely on bull markets to deliver double digit returns. We only rely on hedge fund buy/sell signals. Let’s check out the new hedge fund action regarding Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS).

How have hedgies been trading Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS)?

At Q2’s end, a total of 29 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -15% from the previous quarter. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in NTRS over the last 16 quarters. So, let’s find out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

No of Hedge Funds with NTRS Positions

Among these funds, Ariel Investments held the most valuable stake in Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS), which was worth $161.9 million at the end of the second quarter. On the second spot was GAMCO Investors which amassed $45.4 million worth of shares. Moreover, Adage Capital Management, D E Shaw, and Millennium Management were also bullish on Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS), allocating a large percentage of their portfolios to this stock.

Since Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS) has experienced a decline in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, logic holds that there is a sect of money managers that decided to sell off their full holdings last quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Clint Carlson’s Carlson Capital cut the biggest position of the “upper crust” of funds tracked by Insider Monkey, comprising close to $52.8 million in stock. Anand Parekh’s fund, Alyeska Investment Group, also said goodbye to its stock, about $31.2 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 5 funds last quarter.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS). We will take a look at Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE), Ulta Beauty, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA), Liberty Global Plc (NASDAQ:LBTYK), and Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE:CXO). All of these stocks’ market caps resemble NTRS’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
EXPE 33 2556290 1
ULTA 44 941309 1
LBTYK 34 3768866 1
CXO 27 552132 1
Average 34.5 1954649 1

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 34.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1955 million. That figure was $444 million in NTRS’s case. Ulta Beauty, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE:CXO) is the least popular one with only 27 bullish hedge fund positions. Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks (see the video below) among hedge funds returned 24.4% in 2019 through September 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 4 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on NTRS, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned 4.4% during the third quarter and outperformed the market.
5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds
Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

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