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Why Stratasys, Ltd. (SSYS) Is Trading Higher on Tuesday?

Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) shares have surged 10% on slightly higher-than-average volume as technical traders bet on the stock’s upward momentum. Another reason for the growth could be the initiated coverage by FBR & Co., which set an ‘Outperform’ rating and $29 price target. Shares of the stock have jumped significantly from February and Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) could once again become a momentum stock if the right factors come into play. Three-dimensional printing and additive manufacturing solution holds great promise and Stratasys is one of the few companies that analysts expect to be profitable in the near future. If management contains costs and maintains growth, the company could regain some of its lost ground.

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Hedge Funds and other institutional investors have just completed filing their 13Fs with the Securities and Exchange Commission, revealing their equity portfolios as of the end of September. At Insider Monkey, we follow over 700 of the best-performing investors and by analyzing their 13F filings, we can determine the stocks that they are collectively bullish on. One of their picks is Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS), so let’s take a closer look at the sentiment that surrounds it in the current quarter.

The number of long hedge fund bets in Stratasys went up by one lately and the stock was in 18 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of March. However, the level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity, but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as Brady Corp (NYSE:BRC), BofI Holding, Inc. (NASDAQ:BOFI), and Ebix Inc (NASDAQ:EBIX) to gather more data points.

In the eyes of most traders, hedge funds are viewed as slow, outdated financial tools of the past. While there are greater than 8000 funds in operation at the moment, Our experts look at the upper echelon of this group, approximately 700 funds. These investment experts have their hands on bulk of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by keeping track of their finest investments, Insider Monkey has come up with a number of investment strategies that have historically defeated the market. Insider Monkey’s small-cap hedge fund strategy exceeded the S&P 500 index by 12 percentage points per annum for a decade in their back tests.

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a glance at the recent action regarding Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS).

According to Insider Monkey’s hedge fund database, Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management has the largest position in Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS), worth close to $76.6 million, corresponding to 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. The second most bullish fund manager is Coatue Management, led by Philippe Laffont, which holds a $11 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedge funds and institutional investors with similar optimism contain D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, Michael Doheny’s Freshford Capital Management and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

Now, specific money managers have jumped into Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) headfirst. Renaissance Technologies, founded by billionaire Jim Simons, established the biggest position in Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS). Renaissance Technologies had $3.9 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management also initiated a $1.3 million position during the first quarter. The other funds with brand new SSYS positions are Richard Driehaus’s Driehaus Capital, Mike Vranos’s Ellington, and Richard Schimel’s Sterling Ridge Capital Management.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS), but similarly valued. We will take a look at Brady Corp (NYSE:BRC), BofI Holding, Inc. (NASDAQ:BOFI), Ebix Inc (NASDAQ:EBIX), and TeleTech Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTEC). This group of stocks’ market values match SSYS’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
BRC 15 189466 3
BOFI 18 129783 -4
EBIX 12 127469 0
TTEC 12 25442 3

As you can see these stocks had an average of 14 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $118 million. That figure was $139 million in SSYS’s case. BofI Holding, Inc. (NASDAQ:BOFI) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand, Ebix Inc (NASDAQ:EBIX) is the least popular one with only 12 bullish hedge fund positions. Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) is not the most popular stock in this group, but hedge fund interest is still above average. This is a slightly positive signal, but we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. In this regard BOFI might be a better candidate to consider a long position.

Disclosure: None

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