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Here’s What Hedge Funds Think About SunOpta, Inc. (STKL)

Abigail Fisher

Insider Monkey finished processing more than 738 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds' portfolio positions as of March 31st, 2019. In this article we are going to take a look at smart money sentiment towards SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL).

SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) was in 11 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of March. STKL shareholders have witnessed a decrease in hedge fund sentiment in recent months. There were 13 hedge funds in our database with STKL holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that STKL isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

Today there are many formulas investors can use to assess their holdings. A duo of the most useful formulas are hedge fund and insider trading interest. Our researchers have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best money managers can trounce the market by a solid amount (see the details here).

Philip Hempleman Ardsley Partners
Philip Hempleman Ardsley Partners

Let's check out the recent hedge fund action surrounding SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL).

What have hedge funds been doing with SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL)?

At Q1's end, a total of 11 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -15% from the fourth quarter of 2018. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards STKL over the last 15 quarters. So, let's see which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

STKL_june2019
STKL_june2019

The largest stake in SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) was held by Engaged Capital, which reported holding $30.2 million worth of stock at the end of March. It was followed by Oaktree Capital Management with a $28 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Ardsley Partners, Point72 Asset Management, and Royce & Associates.

Judging by the fact that SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) has experienced bearish sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, we can see that there is a sect of hedgies that elected to cut their entire stakes last quarter. At the top of the heap, Jason Karp's Tourbillon Capital Partners dumped the biggest investment of the "upper crust" of funds watched by Insider Monkey, valued at about $6.3 million in stock. David Costen Haley's fund, HBK Investments, also cut its stock, about $0.2 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 2 funds last quarter.

Let's also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Majesco (NASDAQ:MJCO), Drive Shack Inc. (NYSE:DS), Cumulus Media Inc (NASDAQ:CMLS), and Vectrus Inc (NYSE:VEC). This group of stocks' market valuations resemble STKL's market valuation.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position MJCO,3,378,2 DS,10,4853,0 CMLS,13,109777,6 VEC,11,40168,1 Average,9.25,38794,2.25 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 9.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $39 million. That figure was $114 million in STKL's case. Cumulus Media Inc (NASDAQ:CMLS) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Majesco (NASDAQ:MJCO) is the least popular one with only 3 bullish hedge fund positions. SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. This is a slightly positive signal but we'd rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 6.2% in Q2 through June 19th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by nearly 3 percentage points. Unfortunately STKL wasn't nearly as popular as these 20 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on STKL were disappointed as the stock returned 1.4% during the same period 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 13 of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in Q2.

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

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