The shares of XO Group Inc (NYSE:XOXO), a company that provides wedding-related services to clients, witnessed an early-morning boost of 3.9% on Friday morning following a supreme court ruling that established a new civil right legalizing same-sex couples’ marriages, although the shares later gave back most of the gains to finish the day ahead by 0.56%. While writing the judgement, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” With this ruling, the U.S. has become the 21st country to have rights for same-sex marriage throughout the country. The Knot, a multi-platform brand of XO Group, released its third-annual LGBTQ Wedding Study that covers trends, spending habits, and wedding traditions among same-sex couples. Anja Winikka, site director of the Knot, said, “As we celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize marriage equality for the entire country, our study shows that LGBTQ couples are hosting intimate weddings, with a focus on the guest experience and lots of personalized details.”
This ruling could help lift the shares of the company further and give it a necessary boost, as it naturally allows for more potential clients in need of its services. Despite the 11.92% drop in the share value of XO Group Inc (NYSE:XOXO), insiders have placed confidence in the company. While evaluating the value of a stock, considering insider activity could help uncover profit-making opportunities in the company, as previous studies have shown. There have been three insider purchases of XO Group’s stock in the last six months, with Charles C. Baker, Board Member, making the largest purchase of 6,000 shares on March 17, followed by a purchase of 4,500 shares made by Director Barbara Messing on May 13. Among the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey, 16 have made investments in XO Group Inc (NYSE:XOXO) with net investments worth $153.57 million. That was a slight decline from the 17 funds that held $168.84 million in shares at the end of 2014.
Why are we interested in the 13F filings of a select group of hedge funds? We use these filings to determine the top 15 small-cap stocks held by these elite funds based on 16 years of research that showed their top small-cap picks are much more profitable than both their large-cap stocks and the broader market as a whole. These small-cap stocks beat the S&P 500 Total Return Index by an average of nearly one percentage point per month in our backtests, which were conducted over the period of 1999 to 2012. Moreover, since the beginning of forward testing from August 2012, the strategy worked just as our research predicted, outperforming the market every year and returning 142% over the last 32 months, which is more than 84 percentage points higher than the returns of the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) (see more details).
For a better understanding of hedge fund activity in XO Group Inc (NYSE:XOXO), we’re going to take a look at the new action surrounding the company.
With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly. When looking at the hedgies followed by Insider Monkey, Matthew Drapkin and Steven R. Becker’s Becker Drapkin Management had the biggest position in XO Group Inc (NYSE:XOXO), worth close to $38.1 million, consisting of 2.16 million shares and accounting for 21.2% of its total 13F portfolio. The second-largest stake is held by Wallace R. Weitz & Co., led by Wallace Weitz, holding a $37.4 million position with ownership of 2.12 million shares; 1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Other hedge funds that are bullish contain Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, David Park’s Headlands Capital and David E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.
Because XO Group Inc (NYSE:XOXO) has witnessed declining sentiment from the smart money, we can see that there exists a select few hedgies that elected to cut their positions entirely at the end of the first quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Brett Hendrickson‘s Nokomis Capital dumped the biggest position of the “upper crust” of funds tracked by Insider Monkey, totaling an estimated $1.4 million in stock. Gregory Fraser, Rudolph Kluiber, and Timothy Krochuk’s fund, GRT Capital Partners, also sold off its position, about $0.2 million worth. These bearish behaviors are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest declined slightly during the first quarter.
Insider purchases are among the strongest signals indicating growth in share prices in the future, and XO Group Inc has had three such purchases in the last six months. Even though hedge fund sentiment was slightly negative, 16 hedge funds with positions in a $400 million market cap stock is nonetheless a positive indicator. Given the recent positive news on top of that, we recommend a buy for the shares of XO Group.