Is AEGON N.V. (NYSE:AEG) a good place to invest some of your money right now? We can gain invaluable insight to help us answer that question by studying the investment trends of top investors, who employ world-class Ivy League graduates, who are given immense resources and industry contacts to put their financial expertise to work. The top picks of these firms have historically outperformed the market when we account for known risk factors, making them very valuable investment ideas.
Is AEGON N.V. (NYSE:AEG) a good stock to buy now? Prominent investors are becoming hopeful. The number of long hedge fund bets moved up by 4 lately. Our calculations also showed that AEG isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.
In the eyes of most traders, hedge funds are perceived as underperforming, old investment tools of the past. While there are more than 8000 funds trading today, Our experts hone in on the upper echelon of this group, around 750 funds. These money managers orchestrate the lion's share of the smart money's total asset base, and by keeping an eye on their top stock picks, Insider Monkey has unsheathed a number of investment strategies that have historically defeated the broader indices. Insider Monkey's flagship hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by nearly 5 percentage points per year since its inception in May 2014 through early November 2018. We were able to generate large returns even by identifying short candidates. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 27.5% since February 2017 (through March 12th) even though the market was up nearly 25% during the same period. We just shared a list of 6 short targets in our latest quarterly update and they are already down an average of 6% in less than a month.
Let's analyze the recent hedge fund action regarding AEGON N.V. (NYSE:AEG).
What have hedge funds been doing with AEGON N.V. (NYSE:AEG)?
At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 11 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 57% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards AEG over the last 14 quarters. With hedgies' positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were adding to their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).
More specifically, Arrowstreet Capital was the largest shareholder of AEGON N.V. (NYSE:AEG), with a stake worth $23 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Arrowstreet Capital was Renaissance Technologies, which amassed a stake valued at $6.2 million. Segantii Capital, Two Sigma Advisors, and PEAK6 Capital Management were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.
As aggregate interest increased, some big names have been driving this bullishness. Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, established the biggest position in AEGON N.V. (NYSE:AEG). Citadel Investment Group had $0.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Dmitry Balyasny's Balyasny Asset Management also initiated a $0.3 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are David Costen Haley's HBK Investments and Paul Tudor Jones's Tudor Investment Corp.
Let's go over hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as AEGON N.V. (NYSE:AEG) but similarly valued. These stocks are Ally Financial Inc (NYSE:ALLY), Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NYSE:NCLH), and Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR). All of these stocks' market caps are closest to AEG's market cap.
[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position ALLY,36,1860353,-4 PSO,5,16332,2 NCLH,40,805725,-1 JNPR,29,624293,6 Average,27.5,826676,0.75 [/table]
View table here if you experience formatting issues.
As you can see these stocks had an average of 27.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $827 million. That figure was $36 million in AEG's case. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NYSE:NCLH) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO) is the least popular one with only 5 bullish hedge fund positions. AEGON N.V. (NYSE:AEG) 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 15 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 19.7% through March 15th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 6.6 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on AEG, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned 13.9% and outperformed the market as well.
Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.