What Do Hedge Funds Think of Vail Resorts, Inc. (MTN)?

Is Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN) a good investment right now? We check hedge fund and billionaire investor sentiment before delving into hours of research. Hedge funds spend millions of dollars on Ivy League graduates, expert networks, and get tips from industry insiders. They fail miserably sometimes but historically their consensus stock picks outperformed the market after adjusting for known risk factors.

Is Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN) ready to rally soon? Prominent investors are becoming hopeful. The number of long hedge fund bets went up by 3 lately. MTN was in 26 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2015. There were 23 hedge funds in our database with MTN positions at the end of the previous quarter. At the end of this article we will also compare MTN to other stocks including Sonoco Products Company (NYSE:SON), WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG), and Strategic Hotels and Resorts Inc (NYSE:BEE) to get a better sense of its popularity.

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Now, we’re going to go over the recent action regarding Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN).

How are hedge funds trading Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN)?

At Q3’s end, a total of 26 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 13% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Mason Hawkins’ Southeastern Asset Management has the most valuable position in Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN), worth close to $188.9 million, amounting to 1.6% of its total 13F portfolio. On Southeastern Asset Management’s heels is Joel Greenblatt of Gotham Asset Management, with an $28.6 million position; 0.3% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining members of the smart money that hold long positions encompass Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, Doug Gordon, Jon Hilsabeck and Don Jabro’s Shellback Capital and Michael M. Rothenberg’s Moab Capital Partners.

As aggregate interest increased, key money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Clinton Group, managed by George Hall, created the largest position in Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN). Clinton Group had $1.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Greg Poole’s Echo Street Capital Management also initiated an $0.6 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new MTN positions are Gavin Saitowitz and Cisco J. del Valle’s Springbok Capital, Andrew Feldstein and Stephen Siderow’s Blue Mountain Capital, and Jacob Gottlieb’s Visium Asset Management.

Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Sonoco Products Company (NYSE:SON), WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG), Strategic Hotels and Resorts Inc (NYSE:BEE), and Teradyne, Inc. (NYSE:TER). This group of stocks’ market caps resemble MTN’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
SON 24 116135 2
WCG 32 724867 1
BEE 31 466880 16
TER 25 538733 -5

As you can see these stocks had an average of 28 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $462 million. That figure was $362 million in MTN’s case. WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Sonoco Products Company (NYSE:SON) is the least popular one with only 24 bullish hedge fund positions. Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. This is a slightly negative signal and we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. In this regard WCG might be a better candidate to consider a long position.