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Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On ViaSat, Inc. (VSAT)

Nina Todic

Insider Monkey has processed numerous 13F filings of hedge funds and successful value investors to create an extensive database of hedge fund holdings. The 13F filings show the hedge funds' and successful investors' positions as of the end of the second quarter. You can find write-ups about an individual hedge fund's trades on numerous financial news websites. However, in this article we will take a look at their collective moves and analyze what the smart money thinks of ViaSat, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAT) based on that data.

ViaSat, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAT) was in 28 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the second quarter of 2019. VSAT investors should be aware of an increase in support from the world's most elite money managers lately. There were 22 hedge funds in our database with VSAT holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that VSAT 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.

Crispin Odey

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 take a glance at the latest hedge fund action encompassing ViaSat, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAT).

Hedge fund activity in ViaSat, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAT)

At the end of the second quarter, a total of 28 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 27% from the previous quarter. On the other hand, there were a total of 16 hedge funds with a bullish position in VSAT a year ago. With hedge funds' sentiment swirling, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes meaningfully (or already accumulated large positions).

No of Hedge Funds with VSAT Positions

More specifically, Baupost Group was the largest shareholder of ViaSat, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAT), with a stake worth $1109.8 million reported as of the end of March. Trailing Baupost Group was FPR Partners, which amassed a stake valued at $345.7 million. Odey Asset Management Group, Southeastern Asset Management, and D E Shaw were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.

As industrywide interest jumped, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. PEAK6 Capital Management, managed by Matthew Hulsizer, initiated the most valuable call position in ViaSat, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAT). PEAK6 Capital Management had $6.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Michael Gelband's ExodusPoint Capital also initiated a $4.2 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new VSAT positions are Paul Tudor Jones's Tudor Investment Corp, John Overdeck and David Siegel's Two Sigma Advisors, and D. E. Shaw's D E Shaw.

Let's check out hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to ViaSat, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAT). We will take a look at TFS Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:TFSL), Nutanix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTNX), Emcor Group Inc (NYSE:EME), and Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO). This group of stocks' market valuations resemble VSAT's market valuation.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position TFSL,5,153154,-2 NTNX,25,643924,-11 EME,22,351468,-4 FLO,22,201700,4 Average,18.5,337562,-3.25 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 18.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $338 million. That figure was $2028 million in VSAT's case. Nutanix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTNX) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand TFS Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:TFSL) is the least popular one with only 5 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks ViaSat, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAT) is more popular among hedge funds. 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 VSAT wasn't nearly as popular as these 20 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on VSAT were disappointed as the stock returned -6.8% 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 (view the video below) among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market in Q3. 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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