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Is CCEP Stock A Buy or Sell?

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The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. Insider Monkey finished processing 887 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds' portfolio positions as of December 31st, 2020. In this article we are going to take a look at smart money sentiment towards Coca-Cola European Partners plc (NYSE:CCEP).

Is CCEP stock a buy? The smart money was taking a bullish view. The number of long hedge fund bets improved by 5 recently. Coca-Cola European Partners plc (NYSE:CCEP) was in 28 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. The all time high for this statistic is 40. Our calculations also showed that CCEP isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q4 rankings).

Bernard Horn of Polaris Capital Management

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, auto parts business is a recession resistant business, so we are taking a closer look at this discount auto parts stock that is growing at a 196% annualized rate. We go through lists like the 15 best micro-cap stocks to buy now to identify the next stock with 10x upside potential. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our website. Keeping this in mind we're going to go over the recent hedge fund action regarding Coca-Cola European Partners plc (NYSE:CCEP).

Do Hedge Funds Think CCEP Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?

At Q4's end, a total of 28 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 22% from the previous quarter. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in CCEP over the last 22 quarters. So, let's review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, Polaris Capital Management, managed by Bernard Horn, holds the number one position in Coca-Cola European Partners plc (NYSE:CCEP). Polaris Capital Management has a $176.8 million position in the stock, comprising 6.6% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Hengistbury Investment Partners, led by Stuart Powers, holding a $158.1 million position; the fund has 16.5% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedge funds and institutional investors that are bullish consist of Jack Woodruff's Candlestick Capital Management, Doug Silverman and Alexander Klabin's Senator Investment Group and Scott Ferguson's Sachem Head Capital. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Hengistbury Investment Partners allocated the biggest weight to Coca-Cola European Partners plc (NYSE:CCEP), around 16.5% of its 13F portfolio. Polaris Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, dishing out 6.64 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to CCEP.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds were breaking ground themselves. Hengistbury Investment Partners, managed by Stuart Powers, created the biggest position in Coca-Cola European Partners plc (NYSE:CCEP). Hengistbury Investment Partners had $158.1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Doug Silverman and Alexander Klabin's Senator Investment Group also initiated a $82.2 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new CCEP investors: Scott Ferguson's Sachem Head Capital, Alexander Mitchell's Scopus Asset Management, and Keith Meister's Corvex Capital.

Let's check out hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Coca-Cola European Partners plc (NYSE:CCEP). We will take a look at Viatris Inc. (NASDAQ:VTRS), MPLX LP (NYSE:MPLX), Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB), Wayfair Inc (NYSE:W), Etsy Inc (NASDAQ:ETSY), AvalonBay Communities Inc (NYSE:AVB), and China Telecom Corporation Limited (NYSE:CHA). All of these stocks' market caps are similar to CCEP's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position VTRS,67,2753638,19 MPLX,13,142057,-1 DB,16,1649538,1 W,40,2845135,0 ETSY,56,1963085,5 AVB,32,864498,3 CHA,5,19901,2 Average,32.7,1462550,4.1 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 32.7 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1463 million. That figure was $1003 million in CCEP's case. Viatris Inc. (NASDAQ:VTRS) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand China Telecom Corporation Limited (NYSE:CHA) is the least popular one with only 5 bullish hedge fund positions. Coca-Cola European Partners plc (NYSE:CCEP) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for CCEP is 49.5. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. This is a slightly negative signal and we'd rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. Our calculations showed that top 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 81.2% in 2019 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 26 percentage points. These stocks gained 12.3% in 2021 through April 19th and surpassed the market again by 0.9 percentage points. Unfortunately CCEP wasn't nearly as popular as these 30 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was quite bearish); CCEP investors were disappointed as the stock returned 10.7% since the end of December (through 4/19) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds as most of these stocks already outperformed the market in 2020.

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

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