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Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (WRE): Hedge Funds Cashed Out Early

Abigail Fisher

With the first-quarter round of 13F filings behind us it is time to take a look at the stocks in which some of the best money managers in the world preferred to invest or sell heading into the second quarter. One of these stocks was Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE:WRE).

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE:WRE) has experienced a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money of late. Our calculations also showed that WRE isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (see the video below). Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds

To most traders, hedge funds are seen as unimportant, outdated financial vehicles of the past. While there are over 8000 funds trading at the moment, We look at the crème de la crème of this group, approximately 750 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group of people oversee bulk of all hedge funds' total asset base, and by following their best investments, Insider Monkey has unearthed several investment strategies that have historically outperformed the S&P 500 index. Insider Monkey's flagship hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by around 5 percentage points a year since its inception in May 2014. We were able to generate large returns even by identifying short candidates. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 25.7% since February 2017 (through September 30th) even though the market was up more than 33% during the same period. We just shared a list of 10 short targets in our latest quarterly update .

WRE_oct2019

Unlike former hedge manager, Dr. Steve Sjuggerud, who is convinced Dow will soar past 40000, our long-short investment strategy doesn't rely on bull markets to deliver double digit returns. We only rely on hedge fund buy/sell signals. Let's review the fresh hedge fund action surrounding Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE:WRE).

How have hedgies been trading Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE:WRE)?

At the end of the second quarter, a total of 6 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -33% from the previous quarter. By comparison, 9 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in WRE a year ago. With hedge funds' positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

Matthew Hulsizer PEAK6 Capital

More specifically, Renaissance Technologies was the largest shareholder of Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE:WRE), with a stake worth $98.9 million reported as of the end of March. Trailing Renaissance Technologies was Citadel Investment Group, which amassed a stake valued at $1.4 million. D E Shaw, PEAK6 Capital Management, and Balyasny Asset Management were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.

Seeing as Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE:WRE) has faced a decline in interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it's safe to say that there exists a select few funds that decided to sell off their entire stakes last quarter. It's worth mentioning that Minhua Zhang's Weld Capital Management cut the biggest position of all the hedgies monitored by Insider Monkey, worth an estimated $0.9 million in stock. Matthew Tewksbury's fund, Stevens Capital Management, also said goodbye to its stock, about $0.6 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 3 funds last quarter.

Let's go over hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE:WRE) but similarly valued. These stocks are Granite Construction Incorporated (NYSE:GVA), Matador Resources Co (NYSE:MTDR), ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE:ESE), and NeoGenomics, Inc. (NASDAQ:NEO). This group of stocks' market valuations are similar to WRE's market valuation.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position GVA,11,65578,-4 MTDR,12,240162,-2 ESE,4,2864,-3 NEO,17,92899,2 Average,11,100376,-1.75 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 11 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $100 million. That figure was $102 million in WRE's case. NeoGenomics, Inc. (NASDAQ:NEO) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE:ESE) is the least popular one with only 4 bullish hedge fund positions. Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE:WRE) 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 24.4% in 2019 through September 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 4 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on WRE, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned 3.5% during the third quarter and outperformed the market.

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

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