Were Hedge Funds Right About Warming Up To AMERCO (UHAL)?

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 AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL) based on that data.

Is AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL) a first-rate stock to buy now? Money managers are taking a bullish view. The number of bullish hedge fund positions went up by 3 lately. Our calculations also showed that UHAL isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (see the video below). UHAL was in 15 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of June. There were 12 hedge funds in our database with UHAL positions at the end of the previous quarter.
5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds
Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit there are a multitude of indicators investors employ to grade publicly traded companies. Two of the most under-the-radar indicators are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best money managers can beat their index-focused peers by a very impressive margin (see the details here).


Unlike this former hedge fund manager who is convinced Dow will soar past 40000, 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 take a glance at the latest hedge fund action surrounding AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL).

How have hedgies been trading AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL)?

At Q2’s end, a total of 15 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 25% from one quarter earlier. On the other hand, there were a total of 8 hedge funds with a bullish position in UHAL a year ago. So, let’s review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Martin Whitman Third Avenue Management Marty Whitman

The largest stake in AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL) was held by Abrams Capital Management, which reported holding $212.5 million worth of stock at the end of March. It was followed by Yacktman Asset Management with a $66.2 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included AQR Capital Management, Third Avenue Management, and Indaba Capital Management.

As one would reasonably expect, key money managers were breaking ground themselves. Cloverdale Capital Management, managed by C. Jonathan Gattman, assembled the most valuable position in AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL). Cloverdale Capital Management had $10.8 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital also made a $1 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Mike Vranos’s Ellington, Michael Gelband’s ExodusPoint Capital, and Claes Fornell’s CSat Investment Advisory.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Amarin Corporation plc (NASDAQ:AMRN), HubSpot Inc (NYSE:HUBS), AngloGold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU), and Genpact Limited (NYSE:G). This group of stocks’ market values match UHAL’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
AMRN 33 1835664 7
HUBS 33 692636 4
AU 16 479675 -7
G 26 744096 -3
Average 27 938018 0.25

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 27 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $938 million. That figure was $401 million in UHAL’s case. Amarin Corporation plc (NASDAQ:AMRN) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand AngloGold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU) is the least popular one with only 16 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL) is even less popular than AU. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks 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 UHAL, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned 3.2% during the third quarter and outperformed the market as well.

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