Alexco Resource Corp. (AXU): Hedge Funds In Wait-and-See Mode

Is Alexco Resource Corp. (NYSE:AXU) a good place to invest some of your money right now? We can gain invaluable insight to help us answer that question by studying the investment trends of top investors, who employ world-class Ivy League graduates, who are given immense resources and industry contacts to put their financial expertise to work. The top picks of these firms have historically outperformed the market when we account for known risk factors, making them very valuable investment ideas.

Hedge fund interest in Alexco Resource Corp. (NYSE:AXU) shares was flat at the end of last quarter. This is usually a negative indicator. Our calculations also showed that AXU isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings). The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren't the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds' perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That's why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as Summit Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMMF), DSP Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:DSPG), and Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (NASDAQ:BGFV) to gather more data points.

Today there are many metrics stock market investors put to use to size up stocks. A pair of the less known metrics are hedge fund and insider trading activity. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top investment managers can outclass their index-focused peers by a healthy margin (see the details here). Also, our monthly newsletter's portfolio of long stock picks returned 206.8% since March 2017 (through May 2021) and beat the S&P 500 Index by more than 115 percentage points. You can download a sample issue of this newsletter on our website .

Eric Sprott Sprott Asset ManagementEric Sprott Sprott Asset Management
Eric Sprott Sprott Asset Management

Eric Sprott of Sprott Asset Management

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, an activist hedge fund wants to buy this $26 biotech stock for $50. So, we recommended a long position to our monthly premium newsletter subscribers. We go through lists like the 10 best battery 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. Keeping this in mind we're going to view the key hedge fund action encompassing Alexco Resource Corp. (NYSE:AXU).

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

At Q1's end, a total of 3 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from one quarter earlier. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in AXU over the last 23 quarters. So, let's check out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

The largest stake in Alexco Resource Corp. (NYSE:AXU) was held by Sprott Asset Management, which reported holding $0.2 million worth of stock at the end of December. It was followed by Citadel Investment Group with a $0.1 million position. The only other hedge fund that is bullish on the company was Millennium Management.

Earlier we told you that the aggregate hedge fund interest in the stock was unchanged and we view this as a negative development. Even though there weren't any hedge funds dumping their holdings during the third quarter, there weren't any hedge funds initiating brand new positions. This indicates that hedge funds, at the very best, perceive this stock as dead money and they haven't identified any viable catalysts that can attract investor attention.

Let's now review hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Alexco Resource Corp. (NYSE:AXU) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Summit Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMMF), DSP Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:DSPG), Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (NASDAQ:BGFV), Farmland Partners Inc (NYSE:FPI), Kaleido BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:KLDO), Uxin Limited (NASDAQ:UXIN), and Village Super Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:VLGEA). This group of stocks' market valuations are closest to AXU's market valuation.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position SMMF,4,10966,0 DSPG,13,54197,0 BGFV,14,27074,-3 FPI,5,1965,-3 KLDO,6,7960,4 UXIN,3,5133,0 VLGEA,7,30340,-3 Average,7.4,19662,-0.7 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 7.4 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $20 million. That figure was $0 million in AXU's case. Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (NASDAQ:BGFV) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Uxin Limited (NASDAQ:UXIN) is the least popular one with only 3 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Alexco Resource Corp. (NYSE:AXU) is even less popular than UXIN. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for AXU is 23. 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. Hedge funds clearly dropped the ball on AXU as the stock delivered strong returns, though hedge funds' consensus picks still generated respectable returns. 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 17.2% in 2021 through June 11th and still beat the market by 3.3 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on AXU as the stock returned 17.1% since Q1 (through June 11th) and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

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

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By Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

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