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Is Craft Brew Alliance Inc (BREW) A Good Stock To Buy ?

Debasis Saha

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. We have processed the filings of the more than 700 world-class investment firms that we track and now have access to the collective wisdom contained in these filings, which are based on their September 30 holdings, data that is available nowhere else. Should you consider Craft Brew Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:BREW) for your portfolio? We'll look to this invaluable collective wisdom for the answer.

Is Craft Brew Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:BREW) a buy right now? The smart money is in an optimistic mood. The number of long hedge fund bets advanced by 2 recently. Our calculations also showed that BREW 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

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit there are a multitude of signals stock market investors use to evaluate stocks. A duo of the most under-the-radar signals are hedge fund and insider trading moves. Our researchers have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best fund managers can beat the broader indices by a healthy amount (see the details here).

[caption id="attachment_262336" align="alignnone" width="600"] J. Carlo Cannell of Cannell Capital[/caption]

Carlo Cannell

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 take a peek at the latest hedge fund action surrounding Craft Brew Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:BREW).

Hedge fund activity in Craft Brew Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:BREW)

At the end of the third quarter, a total of 14 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 17% from the previous quarter. By comparison, 15 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in BREW a year ago. So, let's see which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Is BREW A Good Stock To Buy?

The largest stake in Craft Brew Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:BREW) was held by Cannell Capital, which reported holding $6.9 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Renaissance Technologies with a $1.4 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Springbok Capital, Manatuck Hill Partners, and D E Shaw. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Cannell Capital allocated the biggest weight to Craft Brew Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:BREW), around 2.23% of its 13F portfolio. Manatuck Hill Partners is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 0.32 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to BREW.

As industrywide interest jumped, some big names were leading the bulls' herd. D E Shaw, managed by David E. Shaw, initiated the largest position in Craft Brew Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:BREW). D E Shaw had $0.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Michael Gelband's ExodusPoint Capital also made a $0.2 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are David Harding's Winton Capital Management, Israel Englander's Millennium Management, and Jack Ripsteen's Potrero Capital Research.

Let's now review hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as Craft Brew Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:BREW) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Escalade, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESCA), FNCB Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:FNCB), CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE:CTST), and X4 Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:XFOR). This group of stocks' market caps resemble BREW's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position ESCA,3,11273,0 FNCB,3,457,2 CTST,5,715,-7 XFOR,6,46291,0 Average,4.25,14684,-1.25 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 4.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $15 million. That figure was $12 million in BREW's case. X4 Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:XFOR) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Escalade, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESCA) is the least popular one with only 3 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Craft Brew Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:BREW) is more popular among hedge funds. 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. Hedge funds were also right about betting on BREW as the stock returned 101.2% during the first two months of Q4 and outperformed the market by an even larger margin. Hedge funds were clearly right about piling into this stock relative to other stocks with similar market capitalizations.

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

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