What Stands Behind These Stocks’ Bullish Moves Today?

The stock market swung into the green territory and is about to close higher on Monday. Meanwhile, shares of NetSol Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:NTWK), AU Optronics Corp (ADR) (NYSE:AUO), Genetic Technologies Limited (ADR) (NASDAQ:GENE) and Rice Energy Inc (NYSE:RICE) have advanced substantially since the opening bell. Let’s take a look at the news that affected their performance, as well as assess the hedge fund sentiment toward these stocks.

In the eyes of most traders, hedge funds are assumed to be underperforming, old investment tools of the past. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation at present, Hedge fund experts at Insider Monkey look at the aristocrats of this group, around 730 funds. Contrary to popular belief Insider Monkey’s research revealed that hedge funds underperformed in recent years because of their short positions as well as the huge fees that they charge. Hedge funds managed to outperform the market on the long side of their portfolio. In fact, the 15 most popular small-cap stocks among hedge funds returned 102% since the end of August 2012 and beat the S&P 500 Index by 53 percentage points (see the details here).

Leading the list of the gainers is NetSol Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:NTWK), whose stock has appreciated by 38% after the tech company announced the signing of a contract worth $100 million to implement its Ascent NFS, which represents a solution for the automobile and equipment finance and leasing industries. The contract will solidify NetSol’s presence in several international locations and involves an implementation period of five years with maintenance and support period spanning for 10 years. Due to the company’s small size, only two funds from our database own shares of the company, amassing 2.6% of its common stock at the end of September.

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AU Optronics Corp (ADR) (NYSE:AUO)’s stock is also up, offsetting the drop in the last several months. However, there seems to be no particular events driving today’s growth and it is still 41% in the red year-to-date. Among the funds we track, AU Optronics Corp (ADR) (NYSE:AUO) lost popularity during the third quarter, with a total of six funds reporting long positions in the company, versus nine funds a quarter earlier. These funds amassed just 0.5% of the company’s outstanding stock heading into the fourth quarter. Jim Simons‘ Renaissance Technologies is the largest shareholder of AU Optronics Corp (ADR) (NYSE:AUO), among the investors we follow. holding 4.03 million shares at the end of September.

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Next on our list is Genetic Technologies Limited (ADR) (NASDAQ:GENE), whose shares are trading 7% in the green amid the company publishing a new study involving its BREVAGenplus breast cancer risk assessment test for Caucasian women. BREVAGenplus is Genetic Technologies’ lead product and represents a risk-assessment test for non-hereditary breast cancer.

Last on our list of gainers is Rice Energy Inc (NYSE:RICE), whose stock has jumped by 8% after the natural gas and oil company announced that an energy fund will invest up to $500 million in one of its subsidiaries. Although there are still some issues to be covered, the deal is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2016. Hedge funds have been pessimistic on the stock, with 23 funds from our database holding shares at the end of September, down from the 26 funds a quarter earlier. Ken Griffin‘s Citadel Investment Group is the largest shareholder of Rice Energy among the investors we follow, owning 11.4 million shares valued at $183.6 million, according to its latest 13F filing.

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