Why Yahoo, LendingClub, and Three Other Stocks Are Turning Heads Today

It’s been a positive day on Wall Street thus far ahead of the opening bell, as all three index futures are in the green and crude futures are now at $51 per barrel in the pre-market. Traders appear to be hopeful that tomorrow’s jobless claims release and next week’s FOMC meeting will placate fears that the U.S economy might hit a rough patch soon. Among the stocks that are buzzing today are Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), VeriFone Systems Inc (NYSE:PAY), LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC), Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ:GEVO), and Skullcandy Inc (NASDAQ:SKUL). Let’s take a closer look at each stock and see how elite funds are positioned in them.

Through extensive research, we determined that imitating some of the picks of hedge funds and other institutional investors can help generate market-beating returns over the long run. The key is to focus on the small-cap picks of these investors, since they are usually less followed by the broader market and are less price-efficient. Our backtests that covered the period between 1999 and 2012, showed that following the 15 most popular small-caps among hedge funds can help a retail investor beat the market by an average of 95 basis points per month (see the details here).

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Yahoo! Willing to Sell Patents 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is auctioning off its portfolio of around 3,000 patents. Some of the patents concern e-commerce, search technology, and ad-matching that might be useful to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) or Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). Other patents could be attractive to private equity funds. Analysts expect the patents to garner more than $1 billion when all is said and done. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is selling off its core internet business and patents to unlock shareholder value. The market hasn’t assigned Yahoo’s core internet business much of a valuation, so a sale will force the market to do so. Of the 766 elite funds in our database, 97 owned shares of Yahoo at the end of the first quarter, up from 84 at the end of 2015.

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VeriFone Drops After Earnings Miss

VeriFone Systems Inc (NYSE:PAY) is almost 30% lower in pre-market trading after reporting its fiscal year 2016 second quarter results and issuing guidance for the remainder of the fiscal year. For the fiscal second quarter, VeriFone earned $0.47 per share on revenue of $532 million, missing estimates by $0.05 per share on the bottom-line but beating them by $1.9 million on the top-line. Revenue grew by 8.5% year-over-year, while adjusted gross margin fell by 40 basis points. Guidance was soft, with management expecting fiscal third quarter EPS of $0.40 on revenue of $515 million, well beneath estimates of EPS of $0.59 on revenue of $552.1 million. For the full fiscal year, the company expects $1.85 in EPS on revenue of $2.10 billion, below estimates of $2.23 in EPS on sales of $2.16 billion. Jim Simons‘ Renaissance Technologies trimmed its stake in VeriFone Systems Inc (NYSE:PAY) by 63% in the first quarter, to 436,319 shares as of the end of March.

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On the next page we examine why LendingClub, Gevo Inc, and Skullcandy Inc are making noise this morning.