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Here’s What Hedge Funds Think About Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (WLTW)

Nina Todic

Does Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (NASDAQ:WLTW) represent a good buying opportunity at the moment? Let’s quickly check the hedge fund interest towards the company. Hedge fund firms constantly search out bright intellectuals and highly-experienced employees and throw away millions of dollars on satellite photos and other research activities, so it is no wonder why they tend to generate millions in profits each year. It is also true that some hedge fund players fail inconceivably on some occasions, but net net their stock picks have been generating superior risk-adjusted returns on average over the years.

Is Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (NASDAQ:WLTW) the right pick for your portfolio? The best stock pickers are becoming more confident. The number of bullish hedge fund bets advanced by 8 lately. Our calculations also showed that wltw isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

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 market by 40 percentage points since May 2014 through May 30, 2019 (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 30.9% through May 30, 2019. That's why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Abrams Capital Management

We're going to check out the new hedge fund action encompassing Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (NASDAQ:WLTW).

Hedge fund activity in Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (NASDAQ:WLTW)

Heading into the second quarter of 2019, a total of 33 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 32% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards WLTW over the last 15 quarters. With the smart money's sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

No of Hedge Funds with WLTW Positions

Among these funds, Cantillon Capital Management held the most valuable stake in Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (NASDAQ:WLTW), which was worth $433.4 million at the end of the first quarter. On the second spot was Abrams Capital Management which amassed $194.9 million worth of shares. Moreover, Diamond Hill Capital, Pzena Investment Management, and Balyasny Asset Management were also bullish on Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (NASDAQ:WLTW), allocating a large percentage of their portfolios to this stock.

As industrywide interest jumped, some big names were breaking ground themselves. Permian Investment Partners, managed by Alex Duran and Scott Hendrickson, assembled the most valuable position in Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (NASDAQ:WLTW). Permian Investment Partners had $79.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Clint Carlson's Carlson Capital also initiated a $25.3 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are John Overdeck and David Siegel's Two Sigma Advisors, Matthew Hulsizer's PEAK6 Capital Management, and Benjamin A. Smith's Laurion Capital Management.

Let's now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (NASDAQ:WLTW). We will take a look at Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF), Fox Corporation (NASDAQ:FOXA), Fox Corporation (NASDAQ:FOX), and Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES). All of these stocks' market caps resemble WLTW's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position SYF,45,2701973,5 FOXA,71,4255471,1 FOX,40,1343889,-4 ES,16,403030,-4 Average,43,2176091,-0.5 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 43 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $2176 million. That figure was $1632 million in WLTW's case. Fox Corporation (NASDAQ:FOXA) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) is the least popular one with only 16 bullish hedge fund positions. Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (NASDAQ:WLTW) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 1.9% in Q2 through May 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by more than 3 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on WLTW, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned 1.2% during the same time frame and outperformed the market as well.

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

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