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Hedge Funds Are Selling Agilent Technologies Inc. (A)

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We at Insider Monkey have gone over 866 13F filings that hedge funds and prominent investors are required to file by the SEC. The 13F filings show the funds' and investors' portfolio positions as of March 31st. In this article, we look at what those funds think of Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) based on that data.

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) has experienced a decrease in hedge fund sentiment in recent months. Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) was in 42 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2021. The all time high for this statistic is 52. Our calculations also showed that A isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings).

According to most investors, hedge funds are perceived as underperforming, old financial vehicles of years past. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open at present, Our researchers hone in on the crème de la crème of this club, approximately 850 funds. These hedge fund managers oversee the majority of the hedge fund industry's total capital, and by keeping track of their finest picks, Insider Monkey has deciphered a number of investment strategies that have historically outpaced the S&P 500 index. Insider Monkey's flagship short hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points annually since its inception in March 2017. Also, our monthly newsletter's portfolio of long stock picks returned 206.8% since March 2017 (through May 2021) and beat the S&P 500 Index by more than 115 percentage points. You can download a sample issue of this newsletter on our website .

Bill Ackman, Carl C. Icahn, William A. Ackman, Pershing Square Capital Management, Icahn Capital LP,
Bill Ackman, Carl C. Icahn, William A. Ackman, Pershing Square Capital Management, Icahn Capital LP,

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, Federal Reserve has been creating trillions of dollars electronically to keep the interest rates near zero. We believe this will lead to inflation, which is why we are checking out this inflation play. We go through lists like 10 best gold stocks to buy to identify promising stocks. 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. With all of this in mind we're going to go over the latest hedge fund action surrounding Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A).

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

At the end of March, a total of 42 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -7% from the fourth quarter of 2020. By comparison, 35 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in A a year ago. With the smart money's sentiment swirling, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

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

The largest stake in Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) was held by Pershing Square, which reported holding $1500.8 million worth of stock at the end of December. It was followed by Impax Asset Management with a $508 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Cantillon Capital Management, BlueSpruce Investments, and Echo Street Capital Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Pershing Square allocated the biggest weight to Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A), around 14.35% of its 13F portfolio. Claar Advisors is also relatively very bullish on the stock, dishing out 5.2 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to A.

Seeing as Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) has faced a decline in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it's easy to see that there is a sect of money managers who sold off their positions entirely by the end of the first quarter. Interestingly, Andrew Immerman and Jeremy Schiffman's Palestra Capital Management said goodbye to the biggest investment of the "upper crust" of funds tracked by Insider Monkey, worth about $147.9 million in stock. Brian Ashford-Russell and Tim Woolley's fund, Polar Capital, also said goodbye to its stock, about $18.6 million worth. These moves are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest dropped by 3 funds by the end of the first quarter.

Let's now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A). These stocks are Ferrari N.V. (NYSE:RACE), Cadence Design Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CDNS), Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE:SLB), Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI), Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:TRV), DocuSign, Inc. (NASDAQ:DOCU), and Synopsys, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNPS). All of these stocks' market caps resemble A's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position RACE,26,1257227,-3 CDNS,30,1490527,-2 SLB,50,1141533,0 CMI,37,817545,-8 TRV,35,409418,1 DOCU,60,3232494,-7 SNPS,34,1655845,-6 Average,38.9,1429227,-3.6 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 38.9 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1429 million. That figure was $3464 million in A's case. DocuSign, Inc. (NASDAQ:DOCU) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Ferrari N.V. (NYSE:RACE) is the least popular one with only 26 bullish hedge fund positions. Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for A is 49.8. 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 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 95.8% in 2019 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 40 percentage points. These stocks gained 17.4% in 2021 through June 18th and still beat the market by 6.1 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on A as the stock returned 14.2% since the end of Q1 (through 6/18) 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.