Out of thousands of stocks that are currently traded on the market, it is difficult to identify those that will really generate strong returns. Hedge funds and institutional investors spend millions of dollars on analysts with MBAs and PhDs, who are industry experts and well connected to other industry and media insiders on top of that. Individual investors can piggyback the hedge funds employing these talents and can benefit from their vast resources and knowledge in that way. We analyze quarterly 13F filings of nearly 750 hedge funds and, by looking at the smart money sentiment that surrounds a stock, we can determine whether it has the potential to beat the market over the long-term. Therefore, let’s take a closer look at what smart money thinks about National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA).
National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA) investors should pay attention to a decrease in hedge fund interest recently. NSA was in 15 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of September. There were 18 hedge funds in our database with NSA holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that NSA isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video below for Q2 rankings).
Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.
Hedge funds' reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn't keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds' large-cap stock picks indeed failed to beat the market between 1999 and 2016. However, we were able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the Russell 2000 ETFs by 40 percentage points since May 2014 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that'll significantly underperform the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 27.8% through November 21, 2019. That's why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.
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Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies[/caption]
We leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example Europe is set to become the world's largest cannabis market, so we check out this European marijuana stock pitch. One of the most bullish analysts in America just put his money where his mouth is. He says, "I'm investing more today than I did back in early 2009." So we check out his pitch. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. We also rely on the best performing hedge funds' buy/sell signals. Let's analyze the key hedge fund action surrounding National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA).
Hedge fund activity in National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA)
At Q3's end, a total of 15 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -17% from the second quarter of 2019. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in NSA over the last 17 quarters. With hedgies' sentiment swirling, there exists an "upper tier" of key hedge fund managers who were adding to their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).
The largest stake in National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA) was held by Renaissance Technologies, which reported holding $62 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Millennium Management with a $31.9 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Winton Capital Management, Citadel Investment Group, and D E Shaw. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Navellier & Associates allocated the biggest weight to National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA), around 0.2% of its 13F portfolio. Winton Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, dishing out 0.19 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to NSA.
Due to the fact that National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA) has faced a decline in interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, we can see that there is a sect of fund managers who sold off their positions entirely last quarter. At the top of the heap, Jonathan Barrett and Paul Segal's Luminus Management cut the biggest position of the 750 funds monitored by Insider Monkey, valued at close to $9.7 million in stock. Dmitry Balyasny's fund, Balyasny Asset Management, also dumped its stock, about $4.8 million worth. These moves are important to note, as total hedge fund interest fell by 3 funds last quarter.
Let's also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA) but similarly valued. We will take a look at NovaGold Resources Inc. (NYSEAMEX:NG), Euronav NV (NYSE:EURN), Cannae Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNNE), and Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE:FSS). This group of stocks' market values resemble NSA's market value.
[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position NG,16,211750,6 EURN,18,138289,2 CNNE,19,241748,0 FSS,19,77508,-1 Average,18,167324,1.75 [/table]
View table here if you experience formatting issues.
As you can see these stocks had an average of 18 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $167 million. That figure was $138 million in NSA's case. Cannae Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNNE) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand NovaGold Resources Inc. (NYSEAMEX:NG) is the least popular one with only 16 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA) is even less popular than NG. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards NSA. Our calculations showed that the top 20 most popular hedge fund stocks returned 37.4% in 2019 through the end of November and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 9.9 percentage points. Unfortunately NSA wasn't nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); NSA investors were disappointed as the stock returned 0.4% during the fourth quarter (through the end of November) 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 among hedge funds as 70 percent of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in Q4.
Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.