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Here’s Why ClearBridge Disposed its Array Technologies (ARRY) Position

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ClearBridge Investments, an investment management firm, published its “Sustainability Leaders Strategy” second quarter 2021 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. The ClearBridge Sustainability Leaders Strategy underperformed its Russell 3000 Index benchmark during the second quarter. On an absolute basis, the Strategy had gains in eight of 10 sectors in which it was invested (out of 11 sectors total). You can take a look at the fund’s top 5 holdings to have an idea about their top bets for 2021.

In the Q2 2021 investor letter of ClearBridge Investments, the fund mentioned Array Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARRY) and discussed its stance on the firm. Array Technologies, Inc. is an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based solar tracking solutions manufacturer with a $2.4 billion market capitalization. ARRY delivered a -57.22% return since the beginning of the year, and it closed at $18.52 per share on September 30, 2021.

Here is what ClearBridge Investments has to say about Array Technologies, Inc. in its Q2 2021 investor letter:

"Commodity price increases have led to margin pressure across industries, and in some cases have altered our thesis for holding a company. This was the case this quarter with top detractor Array Technologies, an equipment manufacturer that makes trackers and associated software for ground-mounted solar projects, which we sold and may revisit again in the future. Margins also came under pressure for pasture-raised eggs company Vital Farms, due to an increase in commodity prices that it was unable to pass through to end customers. This aspect of the business model is being re-evaluated by management; we saw better opportunities elsewhere and sold our position."

Photo by Science in HD on Unsplash

Based on our calculations, Array Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARRY) was not able to clinch a spot in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. ARRY was in 18 hedge fund portfolios at the end of the first half of 2021, compared to 30 funds in the previous quarter. Array Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARRY) delivered a 17.61% return in the past 3 months.

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’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 115 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, lithium mining is one of the fastest-growing industries right now, so we are checking out stock pitches like this emerging lithium stock. 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. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our homepage.

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