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Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (FLWS)

Nina Todic

Before we spend countless hours researching a company, we'd like to analyze what insiders, hedge funds and billionaire investors think of the stock first. This is a necessary first step in our investment process because our research has shown that the elite investors' consensus returns have been exceptional. In the following paragraphs, we find out what the billionaire investors and hedge funds think of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLWS).

1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLWS) was in 19 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2019. FLWS shareholders have witnessed an increase in hedge fund sentiment in recent months. There were 14 hedge funds in our database with FLWS positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that flws isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

In the financial world there are a large number of tools investors have at their disposal to grade stocks. A pair of the most under-the-radar tools are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a solid amount. Insider Monkey's flagship best performing hedge funds strategy returned 25.8% year to date (through May 30th) and outperformed the market even though it draws its stock picks among small-cap stocks. This strategy also outperformed the market by 40 percentage points since its inception (see the details here). That's why we believe hedge fund sentiment is a useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Mario Gabelli

We're going to take a peek at the recent hedge fund action regarding 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLWS).

What does the smart money think about 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLWS)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 19 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 36% from the previous quarter. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in FLWS over the last 15 quarters. With hedgies' capital changing hands, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

No of Hedge Funds with FLWS Positions

Among these funds, AQR Capital Management held the most valuable stake in 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLWS), which was worth $17.5 million at the end of the first quarter. On the second spot was GAMCO Investors which amassed $11.6 million worth of shares. Moreover, GLG Partners, D E Shaw, and Marshall Wace LLP were also bullish on 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLWS), allocating a large percentage of their portfolios to this stock.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, some big names have been driving this bullishness. Marshall Wace LLP, managed by Paul Marshall and Ian Wace, established the most outsized position in 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLWS). Marshall Wace LLP had $7.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Jim Simons's Renaissance Technologies also made a $1.5 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new FLWS investors: Philippe Laffont's Coatue Management, Principal Global Investors's Columbus Circle Investors, and Peter Algert and Kevin Coldiron's Algert Coldiron Investors.

Let's go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLWS). We will take a look at Saul Centers Inc (NYSE:BFS), ARMOUR Residential REIT, Inc. (NYSE:ARR), SemGroup Corp (NYSE:SEMG), and Tompkins Financial Corporation (NYSE:TMP). This group of stocks' market caps match FLWS's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position BFS,10,38051,3 ARR,8,73012,3 SEMG,13,46994,1 TMP,5,15798,1 Average,9,43464,2 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 9 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $43 million. That figure was $89 million in FLWS's case. SemGroup Corp (NYSE:SEMG) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Tompkins Financial Corporation (NYSE:TMP) is the least popular one with only 5 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLWS) is more popular among hedge funds. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 1.9% in Q2 through May 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by more than 3 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on FLWS, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned -1% during the same period and outperformed the market as well.

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

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