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Is Casey’s General Stores, Inc. (CASY) A Good Stock To Buy?

Debasis Saha

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 June. At Insider Monkey, we follow nearly 750 active hedge funds and notable investors and by analyzing their 13F filings, we can determine the stocks that they are collectively bullish on. One of their picks is Casey's General Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASY), so let’s take a closer look at the sentiment that surrounds it in the current quarter.

Is Casey's General Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASY) a splendid investment right now? Prominent investors are taking a pessimistic view. The number of long hedge fund bets shrunk by 2 recently. Our calculations also showed that CASY isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video below for Q2 rankings). Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds

Today there are several formulas shareholders employ to evaluate publicly traded companies. Some of the most under-the-radar formulas are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. Our experts have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top fund managers can beat the broader indices by a superb amount (see the details here).

[caption id="attachment_30621" align="alignnone" width="600"] Cliff Asness of AQR Capital Management[/caption]

AQR CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

We leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example Europe is set to become the world's largest cannabis market, so we check out this European marijuana stock pitch. One of the most bullish analysts in America just put his money where his mouth is. He says, "I'm investing more today than I did back in early 2009." So we check out his pitch. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. We also rely on the best performing hedge funds' buy/sell signals. We're going to review the latest hedge fund action surrounding Casey's General Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASY).

How are hedge funds trading Casey's General Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASY)?

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2019, a total of 16 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -11% from the second quarter of 2019. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in CASY over the last 17 quarters. With hedge funds' capital changing hands, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

Is CASY A Good Stock To Buy?

Among these funds, AQR Capital Management held the most valuable stake in Casey's General Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASY), which was worth $63.4 million at the end of the third quarter. On the second spot was GLG Partners which amassed $12 million worth of shares. Maverick Capital, GAMCO Investors, and Winton Capital Management were also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Prescott Group Capital Management allocated the biggest weight to Casey's General Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASY), around 0.5% of its 13F portfolio. Stevens Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, dishing out 0.19 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to CASY.

Since Casey's General Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASY) has witnessed bearish sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it's safe to say that there was a specific group of hedge funds that elected to cut their entire stakes last quarter. At the top of the heap, Renaissance Technologies sold off the biggest stake of the "upper crust" of funds monitored by Insider Monkey, totaling close to $3.8 million in stock, and Israel Englander's Millennium Management was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $3.6 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest fell by 2 funds last quarter.

Let's now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as Casey's General Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASY) but similarly valued. These stocks are Guardant Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:GH), AECOM (NYSE:ACM), Cemex SAB de CV (NYSE:CX), and New York Community Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:NYCB). This group of stocks' market values are similar to CASY's market value.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position GH,24,410215,5 ACM,26,956455,4 CX,9,59628,-2 NYCB,23,297857,4 Average,20.5,431039,2.75 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 20.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $431 million. That figure was $104 million in CASY's case. AECOM (NYSE:ACM) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Cemex SAB de CV (NYSE:CX) is the least popular one with only 9 bullish hedge fund positions. Casey's General Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASY) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 37.4% in 2019 through the end of November and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 9.9 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on CASY, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned 8% during the first two months of the fourth quarter and outperformed the market.

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

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