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Should You Buy Voya Financial Inc (VOYA)?

Nina Todic

The government requires hedge funds and wealthy investors with over a certain portfolio size to file a report that shows their positions at the end of every quarter. Even though it isn't the intention, these filings level the playing field for ordinary investors. The latest round of 13F filings disclosed the funds' positions on September 30. We at Insider Monkey have made an extensive database of more than 700 of those elite funds and prominent investors' filings. In this article, we analyze how these elite funds and prominent investors traded Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA) based on those filings.

Is Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA) a healthy stock for your portfolio? Money managers are in a bullish mood. The number of bullish hedge fund positions inched up by 2 lately. Our calculations also showed that voya isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds. VOYA was in 38 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of September. There were 36 hedge funds in our database with VOYA positions at the end of the previous quarter.

Hedge funds' reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn't keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds' small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the market by 18 percentage points since May 2014 through December 3, 2018 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

David Einhorn

We're going to take a glance at the fresh hedge fund action encompassing Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA).

What have hedge funds been doing with Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA)?

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2018, a total of 38 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 6% from the second quarter of 2018. By comparison, 37 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in VOYA heading into this year. With the smart money's sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

No of Hedge Funds with VOYA Positions

Among these funds, Pzena Investment Management held the most valuable stake in Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA), which was worth $500.4 million at the end of the third quarter. On the second spot was Citadel Investment Group which amassed $183.9 million worth of shares. Moreover, Millennium Management, D E Shaw, and Greenlight Capital were also bullish on Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA), allocating a large percentage of their portfolios to this stock.

As industrywide interest jumped, key money managers have been driving this bullishness. Marshall Wace LLP, managed by Paul Marshall and Ian Wace, created the most outsized position in Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA). Marshall Wace LLP had $26.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell's Arrowstreet Capital also initiated a $18 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Nick Niell's Arrowgrass Capital Partners, Ian Simm's Impax Asset Management, and Ron Bobman's Capital Returns Management.

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[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position FTCH,28,260213,28 SCI,15,573126,-10 MFGP,10,177625,-4 NWS,10,87742,-7 Average,15.75,274677,1.75 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

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Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.

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