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Is ViacomCBS Inc. (VIAC) A Good Stock To Buy?

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  • VIACA

The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. Insider Monkey finished processing 867 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds' portfolio positions as of September 30th, 2021. In this article we are going to take a look at smart money sentiment towards ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAC).

Is VIAC a good stock to buy? ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAC) has seen a decrease in support from the world's most elite money managers lately. ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAC) was in 64 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of September. The all time high for this statistic is 89. Our calculations also showed that VIAC isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings).

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, lithium prices have more than doubled over the past year, so we go through lists like the 10 best EV stocks to pick the next Tesla that will deliver a 10x return. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. Now let's analyze the latest hedge fund action regarding ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAC).

John Rogers’ Top 10 Stock Picks
John Rogers’ Top 10 Stock Picks

John Rogers of Ariel Investments

Do Hedge Funds Think VIAC Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2021, a total of 64 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -10% from one quarter earlier. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in VIAC over the last 25 quarters. So, let's examine which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Among these funds, Millennium Management held the most valuable stake in ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAC), which was worth $169.9 million at the end of the third quarter. On the second spot was Citadel Investment Group which amassed $168.3 million worth of shares. Ariel Investments, Citadel Investment Group, and Glenview Capital were also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Becker Drapkin Management allocated the biggest weight to ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAC), around 2.72% of its 13F portfolio. Prentice Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 2.25 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to VIAC.

Seeing as ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAC) has faced falling interest from hedge fund managers, it's easy to see that there lies a certain "tier" of hedgies that elected to cut their entire stakes last quarter. At the top of the heap, David Tepper's Appaloosa Management LP dumped the largest investment of the 750 funds followed by Insider Monkey, comprising about $66.7 million in stock. Jeffrey Altman's fund, Owl Creek Asset Management, also cut its stock, about $54.2 million worth. These bearish behaviors are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 7 funds last quarter.

Let's check out hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAC). We will take a look at Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), Carvana Co. (NYSE:CVNA), Gartner Inc (NYSE:IT), United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE:URI), ZTO Express (Cayman) Inc. (NYSE:ZTO), Bilibili Inc. (NASDAQ:BILI), and Fortive Corporation (NYSE:FTV). All of these stocks' market caps match VIAC's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position CAJ,8,64340,0 CVNA,58,8309496,-5 IT,33,2039924,-6 URI,37,1382415,-10 ZTO,20,1019859,-1 BILI,35,1509730,-12 FTV,32,2130115,1 Average,31.9,2350840,-4.7 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 31.9 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $2351 million. That figure was $1254 million in VIAC's case. Carvana Co. (NYSE:CVNA) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) is the least popular one with only 8 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAC) is more popular among hedge funds. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for VIAC is 69.6. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Our calculations showed that top 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 95.8% in 2019 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 40 percentage points. These stocks gained 28.6% in 2021 through November 30th and still beat the market by 5.6 percentage points. Unfortunately VIAC wasn't nearly as popular as these 5 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on VIAC were disappointed as the stock returned -21.7% since the end of the third quarter (through 11/30) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds as most of these stocks already outperformed the market since 2019.

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