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Is DISH Stock A Buy or Sell?

·6 min read

Is DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) a good place to invest some of your money right now? We can gain invaluable insight to help us answer that question by studying the investment trends of top investors, who employ world-class Ivy League graduates, who are given immense resources and industry contacts to put their financial expertise to work. The top picks of these firms have historically outperformed the market when we account for known risk factors, making them very valuable investment ideas.

Is DISH stock a buy or sell? DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) was in 57 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of December. The all time high for this statistic is 60. DISH investors should be aware of a decrease in activity from the world's largest hedge funds lately. There were 60 hedge funds in our database with DISH positions at the end of the third quarter. Our calculations also showed that DISH isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q4 rankings).

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 was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 124 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here).

Billionaire John Paulson's top 10 stock picks
Billionaire John Paulson's top 10 stock picks

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, lithium mining is one of the fastest growing industries right now, so we are checking out stock pitches like this emerging lithium stock. We go through lists like the 10 best hydrogen fuel cell stocks to pick the next Tesla that will deliver a 10x return. 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 homepage (or at the end of this article). With all of this in mind let's check out the fresh hedge fund action surrounding DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH).

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

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 57 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -5% from one quarter earlier. By comparison, 41 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in DISH a year ago. With hedge funds' capital changing hands, there exists an "upper tier" of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

Is DISH A Good Stock To Buy?
Is DISH A Good Stock To Buy?

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Eagle Capital Management, managed by Boykin Curry, holds the largest position in DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH). Eagle Capital Management has a $500.3 million position in the stock, comprising 1.6% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Palestra Capital Management, managed by Andrew Immerman and Jeremy Schiffman, which holds a $313.5 million position; 6.2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining professional money managers with similar optimism include Josh Resnick's Jericho Capital Asset Management, John Paulson's Paulson & Co and Scott Bessent's Key Square Capital Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Key Square Capital Management allocated the biggest weight to DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH), around 24.8% of its 13F portfolio. Pennant Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 13.52 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to DISH.

Due to the fact that DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) has witnessed a decline in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it's easy to see that there was a specific group of funds that decided to sell off their entire stakes by the end of the fourth quarter. At the top of the heap, Dan Loeb's Third Point dropped the biggest stake of all the hedgies followed by Insider Monkey, valued at close to $41.5 million in stock, and Brian J. Higgins's King Street Capital was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $36.9 million worth. These moves are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 3 funds by the end of the fourth quarter.

Let's also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Insulet Corporation (NASDAQ:PODD), Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ:WDC), IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IAC), Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL), United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE:URI), Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL), and Trimble Inc. (NASDAQ:TRMB). All of these stocks' market caps match DISH's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position PODD,41,1418120,3 WDC,44,1296703,5 IAC,67,2230707,-5 RCL,37,554165,7 URI,46,1060784,6 HAL,31,1027399,-1 TRMB,21,1330232,-14 Average,41,1274016,0.1 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 41 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1274 million. That figure was $2021 million in DISH's case. IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IAC) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Trimble Inc. (NASDAQ:TRMB) is the least popular one with only 21 bullish hedge fund positions. DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for DISH is 69.6. 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. 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 5.3% in 2021 through March 19th and still beat the market by 0.8 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on DISH as the stock returned 15.3% since the end of Q4 (through 3/19) and outperformed the market. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.

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

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