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Is Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) A Good Stock To Buy?

Nina Todic

Does Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD) 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.

Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD) has seen an increase in activity from the world's largest hedge funds recently. VOD was in 19 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of September. There were 11 hedge funds in our database with VOD positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that VOD 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.

5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds

If you'd ask most investors, hedge funds are assumed to be unimportant, outdated investment vehicles of yesteryear. While there are more than 8000 funds trading today, Our researchers hone in on the leaders of this group, approximately 750 funds. These hedge fund managers have their hands on the lion's share of all hedge funds' total capital, and by tailing their best picks, Insider Monkey has unearthed a number of investment strategies that have historically defeated Mr. Market. Insider Monkey's flagship short hedge fund strategy exceeded the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points annually since its inception in May 2014. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 27.8% since February 2017 (through November 21st) even though the market was up more than 39% during the same period. We just shared a list of 7 short targets in our latest quarterly update .

[caption id="attachment_735536" align="aligncenter" width="473"] Sander Gerber of Hudson Bay Capital Management[/caption]

Sander Gerber Hudson Bay Capital Management

Unlike the largest US hedge funds that are convinced Dow will soar past 40,000 or the world's most bearish hedge fund that's more convinced than ever that a crash is coming, our long-short investment strategy doesn't rely on bull or bear markets to deliver double digit returns. We only rely on the best performing hedge funds' buy/sell signals. We're going to take a glance at the recent hedge fund action encompassing Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD).

What does smart money think about Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD)?

At the end of the third quarter, a total of 19 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 73% from the second quarter of 2019. On the other hand, there were a total of 18 hedge funds with a bullish position in VOD a year ago. With the smart money's capital changing hands, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

The largest stake in Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD) was held by Renaissance Technologies, which reported holding $583.8 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Levin Easterly Partners with a $32.3 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Millennium Management, Hudson Bay Capital Management, and Citadel Investment Group. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Stamos Capital allocated the biggest weight to Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD), around 0.94% of its 13F portfolio. Levin Easterly Partners is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.91 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to VOD.

Consequently, specific money managers have been driving this bullishness. Levin Easterly Partners, managed by John Murphy, assembled the largest position in Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD). Levin Easterly Partners had $32.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Sander Gerber's Hudson Bay Capital Management also made a $21.1 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Michael Gelband's ExodusPoint Capital, Peter S. Stamos's Stamos Capital, and Tom Sandell's Sandell Asset Management.

Let's now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD). We will take a look at DuPont de Nemours, Inc. (NYSE:DD), Deere & Company (NYSE:DE), Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM), and General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD). This group of stocks' market valuations resemble VOD's market valuation.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position DD,47,1502453,5 DE,40,1818266,0 BAM,31,1142775,9 GD,40,7033615,0 Average,39.5,2874277,3.5 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 39.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $2874 million. That figure was $685 million in VOD's case. DuPont de Nemours, Inc. (NYSE:DD) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM) is the least popular one with only 31 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD) is even less popular than BAM. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards VOD. 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 VOD wasn't nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); VOD investors were disappointed as the stock returned 2.1% 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.

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