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Is Expedia Group, Inc. (EXPE) A Good Stock To Buy?

Nina Todic

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 at Insider Monkey have gone over 730 13F filings that hedge funds and well-known value investors are required to file by the SEC. The 13F filings show the funds' and investors' portfolio positions as of June 28th. In this article we look at what those investors think of Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE).

Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) has experienced an increase in activity from the world's largest hedge funds of late. EXPE was in 33 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the second quarter of 2019. There were 32 hedge funds in our database with EXPE holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that EXPE isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

Why do we pay any attention at all to hedge fund sentiment? Our research has shown that hedge funds' large-cap stock picks indeed failed to beat the market between 1999 and 2016. However, we were able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the market by 40 percentage points since May 2014 through May 30, 2019 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that'll significantly underperform the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 25.7% through September 30, 2019. That's why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

[caption id="attachment_750230" align="aligncenter" width="473"] Brad Gerstner of Altimeter Capital[/caption]

Brad Gerstner Altimeter Capital

Unlike some fund managers who are betting on Dow reaching 40000 in a year, our long-short investment strategy doesn't rely on bull markets to deliver double digit returns. We only rely on hedge fund buy/sell signals. We're going to review the recent hedge fund action surrounding Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE).

What does smart money think about Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE)?

Heading into the third quarter of 2019, a total of 33 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 3% from the first quarter of 2019. By comparison, 38 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in EXPE a year ago. With hedge funds' positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes meaningfully (or already accumulated large positions).

No of Hedge Funds with EXPE Positions

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, PAR Capital Management, managed by Paul Reeder and Edward Shapiro, holds the number one position in Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE). PAR Capital Management has a $1.2651 billion position in the stock, comprising 21.2% of its 13F portfolio. On PAR Capital Management's heels is Altimeter Capital Management, managed by Brad Gerstner, which holds a $452.3 million position; the fund has 12.4% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedge funds and institutional investors that are bullish contain Renaissance Technologies, Noam Gottesman's GLG Partners and D. E. Shaw's D E Shaw.

As industrywide interest jumped, key money managers were breaking ground themselves. Holocene Advisors, managed by Brandon Haley, initiated the most valuable position in Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE). Holocene Advisors had $58 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. John Overdeck and David Siegel's Two Sigma Advisors also made a $18.8 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new EXPE positions are Louis Bacon's Moore Global Investments, Dmitry Balyasny's Balyasny Asset Management, and David Costen Haley's HBK Investments.

Let's go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE). We will take a look at Ulta Beauty, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA), Liberty Global Plc (NASDAQ:LBTYK), Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE:CXO), and Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL). All of these stocks' market caps are closest to EXPE's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position ULTA,44,941309,1 LBTYK,34,3768866,1 CXO,27,552132,1 HAL,33,935104,-5 Average,34.5,1549353,-0.5 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 34.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1549 million. That figure was $2556 million in EXPE's case. Ulta Beauty, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE:CXO) is the least popular one with only 27 bullish hedge fund positions. Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. 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 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 24.4% in 2019 through September 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 4 percentage points. Unfortunately EXPE wasn't nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was quite bearish); EXPE investors were disappointed as the stock returned 1.3% during the third quarter and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 20 most popular stocks (see the video below) among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in 2019. Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds

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

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