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Here is What Hedge Funds Really Think About FMC Corporation (FMC)

Abigail Fisher

Is FMC Corporation (NYSE:FMC) worth your attention right now? Investors who are in the know are in a pessimistic mood. The number of bullish hedge fund positions retreated by 5 lately. Our calculations also showed that FMC isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds. FMC was in 32 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018. There were 37 hedge funds in our database with FMC positions at the end of the previous quarter.

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 20.7% year to date (through March 12th) and outperformed the market even though it draws its stock picks among small-cap stocks. This strategy also outperformed the market by 32 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.

YORK CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

Let's take a peek at the recent hedge fund action regarding FMC Corporation (NYSE:FMC).

Hedge fund activity in FMC Corporation (NYSE:FMC)

Heading into the first quarter of 2019, a total of 32 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -14% from the previous quarter. By comparison, 35 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in FMC a year ago. So, let's review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

FMC_mar2019

According to Insider Monkey's hedge fund database, Glenview Capital, managed by Larry Robbins, holds the number one position in FMC Corporation (NYSE:FMC). Glenview Capital has a $659.2 million position in the stock, comprising 6.4% of its 13F portfolio. The second most bullish fund manager is Thunderbird Partners, managed by David Fear, which holds a $215.7 million position; the fund has 25.7% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other professional money managers that are bullish encompass James Dinan's York Capital Management, Israel Englander's Millennium Management and Amy Minella's Cardinal Capital.

Since FMC Corporation (NYSE:FMC) has faced a decline in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it's easy to see that there exists a select few fund managers that elected to cut their entire stakes last quarter. It's worth mentioning that Aaron Cowen's Suvretta Capital Management cut the largest stake of all the hedgies tracked by Insider Monkey, totaling about $263.3 million in stock, and Robert Boucai's Newbrook Capital Advisors was right behind this move, as the fund cut about $41.7 million worth. These bearish behaviors are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest fell by 5 funds last quarter.

Let's also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to FMC Corporation (NYSE:FMC). We will take a look at Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM), Regency Centers Corp (NASDAQ:REG), Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB), and National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE:NOV). This group of stocks' market valuations are closest to FMC's market valuation.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position AKAM,34,902737,5 REG,15,301496,-3 CPB,29,816874,0 NOV,22,583554,0 Average,25,651165,0.5 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $651 million. That figure was $1377 million in FMC's case. Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Regency Centers Corp (NASDAQ:REG) is the least popular one with only 15 bullish hedge fund positions. FMC Corporation (NYSE:FMC) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. 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 FMC as the stock returned 20.4% and outperformed the market as well.

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

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