The markets are trading in the red today after investor sentiment was dented following the Labor Department’s assertion that the U.S economy inched up by 0.5% in the first quarter, below expectations of 0.7%, which represented the lowest growth in nearly two years. Some stocks that are in the spotlight today are First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), O’Reilly Automotive Inc (NASDAQ:ORLY), AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) and Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO), some of which are feeling the effects of this depressed environment. In this article we are going to see why these stocks are trending today and take a look at how the investors that we track are positioned in them.
At Insider Monkey, we track around 785 hedge funds and other institutional investors. Through extensive backtests, we have determined that imitating some of the stocks that these investors are collectively bullish on can help retail investors generate double digits of alpha per year (see more details about our small-cap strategy).
First Solar Posts First Quarter Results
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR)’s stock has dropped by nearly 6% this morning after the company reported a net profit of $170.6 million, or $1.66 per share, in the first quarter of 2016, beating the Zacks consensus estimate of $0.91 per share. The solar panel company’s quarterly revenue surged by 81% to reach $848.5 million, which nonetheless widely missed analysts’ expectations of $966 million. First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) also announced that Mark Widmar, the current CFO of the company, will become the CEO in July. James Hughes, the current CEO, will remain on the company’s Board.
Out of 786 active hedge funds that we track, 30 funds held positions in First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) at the end of the fourth quarter of 2015. Out of these hedge funds, Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital Management had the biggest stake, with ownership of more than 2.08 million shares of the company.
Record Profit Margins Helps Ford Beat Estimates
Shares of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) have gained 3.44% today after the company posted its first quarter results. Ford reported its best ever quarter in terms of profit, as the company’s pre-tax profit touched $3.8 billion alongside a record profit margin of 9.8%. The automotive company reported adjusted EPS of $0.68 on revenue of $37.7 billion, sharply beating the Street’s estimates of $0.48 per share in earnings on revenue of $35.7 billion. Net income for the quarter was $2.45 billion, up from $1.30 billion in the same quarter of last year. Ford Motor Company’s North American business segment also delivered a record pre-tax profit of $3.1 billion in the quarter.
At the end of last year, 39 hedge funds in our system held stakes in Ford Motor Company. Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management owns 949,352 shares of the company as of March 31.
O’Reilly Automotive, AbbVie, and Altria are adeptly analyzed afore the end of this article is attained.
O’Reilly Automotive’s Profit Increases
O’Reilly Automotive Inc (NASDAQ:ORLY)’s stock has dipped by 1.66% this morning despite the company posting better-than-expected financial results for the first quarter. The automotive parts company reported profit of $255.4 million, or $2.59 per share, up from $212.9 million in the same quarter of last year. Analysts were expecting EPS of $2.49 per share. Meanwhile, revenue surged by 10% to $2.1 billion, slightly topping estimates of $2.06 billion. The strong quarterly results were partly thanks to the company experiencing a 6% rise in sales at its established stores. However, the company offered discouraging earnings guidance for the current quarter, which seems to have overwhelmed the positive first quarter results in the eyes of investors. O’Reilly Automotive expects EPS in the range of $2.54 to $2.64, less than the EPS of $2.77 that analysts had estimated.
Overall, 42 hedge funds out of those tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in O’Reilly Automotive Inc (NASDAQ:ORLY) worth approximately $1.2 billion at the end of last year. Robert Joseph Caruso’s Select Equity Group was a notable shareholder among those funds, owning more than 1.2 million shares of the company.
AbbVie Rebounds from Morning Swoon
AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV)’s stock has made a big comeback from an early morning slide to now rest up by 0.25% today after the company posted its first quarter earnings report this morning. The biopharmaceutical company reported EPS of $1.15, which represents a 22.3% year-over-year increase, and which beat the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.13. Total revenue in the quarter was $5.96 billion, up by 22.4% compared to the first quarter of last year, though it slightly missed estimates of $5.97 billion.
In a statement, AbbVie’s CEO Richard A. Gonzalez said that apart from the strong financial results, the company continues to invest in strategic projects like the recent collaboration with German drug company Boehringer Ingelheim, the expansion of its IMBRUVICA drug, and the approval of Venclexta. AbbVie also announced today that it is set to acquire Stemcentrx, a San Francisco-based startup which is working on drugs to treat cancer. The deal is valued at $5.8 billion of which AbbVie will pay $2 billion in cash and the rest in stock.
Neil Woodford’s Woodford Investment Management is one of the biggest shareholders of AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) as of March 31, owning more than 11 million shares of the company after hiking its position by 26% during the first quarter.
Strong Quarterly Results for Altria Group
Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) shares are 1.23% in the green this morning after the company reported its financial results for the first quarter. The tobacco products company’s EPS in the first quarter was $0.72, beating the expected EPS of $0.68. Net revenue was also strong at $4.5 billion, beating estimates by $120 million. Marty Barrington, Altria’s CEO, said in a statement that the strong results in the first quarter depict the strength of the company’s core business. The company reaffirmed its guidance for the full 2016 year, of adjusted diluted EPS of $3.00-to-$3.05.
Out of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, 42 held stakes in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) at the end of 2015, with the total value of their holdings amounting to $1.6 billion in value. Ray Carroll’s Breton Hill Capital owns 101,488 shares of the company as of March 31.