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Here’s What Hedge Fund Think About CURO Group Holdings Corp. (CURO)

Nina Todic

A whopping number of 13F filings filed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been processed by Insider Monkey so that individual investors can look at the overall hedge fund sentiment towards the stocks included in their watchlists. These freshly-submitted public filings disclose money managers’ equity positions as of the end of the three-month period that ended March 31, so let’s proceed with the discussion of the hedge fund sentiment on CURO Group Holdings Corp. (NYSE:CURO).

CURO Group Holdings Corp. (NYSE:CURO) was in 17 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2019. CURO shareholders have witnessed an increase in hedge fund interest in recent months. There were 10 hedge funds in our database with CURO positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that curo isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

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 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 30.9% through May 30, 2019. That's why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

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We're going to view the recent hedge fund action surrounding CURO Group Holdings Corp. (NYSE:CURO).

What does smart money think about CURO Group Holdings Corp. (NYSE:CURO)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 17 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 70% from one quarter earlier. By comparison, 11 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in CURO a year ago. With the smart money's positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

No of Hedge Funds with CURO Positions

More specifically, Empyrean Capital Partners was the largest shareholder of CURO Group Holdings Corp. (NYSE:CURO), with a stake worth $20.9 million reported as of the end of March. Trailing Empyrean Capital Partners was Nantahala Capital Management, which amassed a stake valued at $19.8 million. Prescott Group Capital Management, Second Curve Capital, and Glendon Capital Management were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.

As aggregate interest increased, specific money managers were leading the bulls' herd. Park West Asset Management, managed by Peter S. Park, created the most valuable position in CURO Group Holdings Corp. (NYSE:CURO). Park West Asset Management had $5.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Israel Englander's Millennium Management also made a $2.2 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Usman Waheed's Strycker View Capital, Bradley Louis Radoff's Fondren Management, and Ken Griffin's Citadel Investment Group.

Let's now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to CURO Group Holdings Corp. (NYSE:CURO). We will take a look at HighPoint Resources Corporation (NYSE:HPR), Hometrust Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:HTBI), Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (NASDAQ:GILT), and Vishay Precision Group Inc (NYSE:VPG). This group of stocks' market values match CURO's market value.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position HPR,14,59728,0 HTBI,12,66553,3 GILT,2,25518,0 VPG,11,128808,-2 Average,9.75,70152,0.25 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 9.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $70 million. That figure was $86 million in CURO's case. HighPoint Resources Corporation (NYSE:HPR) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (NASDAQ:GILT) is the least popular one with only 2 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks CURO Group Holdings Corp. (NYSE:CURO) is more popular among hedge funds. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 6.2% in Q2 through June 19th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by nearly 3 percentage points. Unfortunately CURO wasn't nearly as popular as these 20 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on CURO were disappointed as the stock returned -4.7% during the same period 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 among hedge funds as 13 of these stocks already outperformed the market in Q2.

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

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