Although the masses and most of the financial media blame hedge funds for their exorbitant fee structure and disappointing performance, these investors have proved to have great stock picking abilities over the years (that’s why their assets under management continue to swell). We believe hedge fund sentiment should serve as a crucial tool of an individual investor’s stock selection process, as it may offer great insights of how the brightest minds of the finance industry feel about specific stocks. After all, these people have access to smartest analysts and expensive data/information sources that individual investors can’t match. So should one consider investing in Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL)? The smart money sentiment can provide an answer to this question.
Is Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL) a buy here? Hedge funds were turning bullish. The number of long hedge fund bets increased by 11 lately. Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL) was in 33 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the second quarter of 2020. The all time high for this statistics is 25. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. Our calculations also showed that GL isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q2 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). There were 22 hedge funds in our database with GL holdings at the end of March.
Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.
So, why do we pay attention to hedge fund sentiment before making any investment decisions? Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 56 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter. Even if you aren’t comfortable with shorting stocks, you should at least avoid initiating long positions in stocks that are in our short portfolio.
At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. Last week, most investors overlooked a major development because of the presidential elections: Oregon became the first state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms which are shown to have promising results in treating depression, addiction, and PTSD in early stage academic studies. So, we are checking out this psychedelic drug stock idea right now. We go through lists like the 10 biggest insurance companies to identify fast growing companies in various industries. 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 website to get excerpts of these letters in your inbox. Keeping this in mind we’re going to take a look at the fresh hedge fund action regarding Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL).
Hedge fund activity in Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL)
At Q2’s end, a total of 33 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 50% from one quarter earlier. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in GL over the last 20 quarters. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).
Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has the biggest position in Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL), worth close to $471.6 million, comprising 0.2% of its total 13F portfolio. The second most bullish fund manager is Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, which holds a $88.6 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that are bullish contain Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, Richard S. Pzena’s Pzena Investment Management and John D. Gillespie’s Prospector Partners. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Prospector Partners allocated the biggest weight to Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL), around 2.71% of its 13F portfolio. Hi-Line Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 2.5 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to GL.
As aggregate interest increased, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. Marshall Wace LLP, managed by Paul Marshall and Ian Wace, assembled the biggest position in Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL). Marshall Wace LLP had $7.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Richard SchimeláandáLawrence Sapanski’s Cinctive Capital Management also initiated a $5 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new GL investors: Gregg Moskowitz’s Interval Partners, Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital, and Donald Sussman’s Paloma Partners.
Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL) but similarly valued. These stocks are Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE:UHS), Paylocity Holding Corp (NASDAQ:PCTY), Regency Centers Corp (NASDAQ:REG), Generac Holdings Inc. (NYSE:GNRC), Elastic N.V. (NYSE:ESTC), Tenaris S.A. (NYSE:TS), and Weibo Corp (NASDAQ:WB). This group of stocks’ market valuations match GL’s market valuation.
|Ticker||No of HFs with positions||Total Value of HF Positions (x1000)||Change in HF Position|
View table here if you experience formatting issues.
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 $458 million. That figure was $706 million in GL’s case. Elastic N.V. (NYSE:ESTC) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Tenaris S.A. (NYSE:TS) is the least popular one with only 12 bullish hedge fund positions. Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for GL is 73.9. 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 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks gained 23% in 2020 through October 30th and still beat the market by 20.1 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on GL as the stock returned 9.8% since the end of Q2 (through 10/30) and outperformed the market. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.
Follow Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL)
Follow Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL)
Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.