15 Underperforming S&P 500 Stocks Being Bought By Hedge Funds

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Includes: AVB, BXP, COL, ETFC, FSLR, GME, KIM, LM, MOS, PCLN, SUNEQ, VTR, WFM, WHR, WYNN
by: Kapitall

“Smart Money” investors such as hedge fund managers and mutual fund managers report the companies they buy on a regular basis, and this is helpful information to other investors looking for a starting point for their own analysis.

This is especially interesting when comparing smart money buying trends to recent stock performance.

With that idea in mind, we ran a screen on the S&P 500 for stocks that have been underperforming the market over the last quarter but have also seen the highest net institutional buying over the same time period.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.‬

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.

Hedge funds stand behind these names, despite their recent underperformance.

Are they wrong, or do you think they know something the market hasn’t recognized yet? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

List sorted by net institutional purchases as a percent of share float.

1. Avalonbay Communities Inc. (NYSE:AVB): Engages in the development, redevelopment, acquisition, ownership, and operation of multifamily communities in the United States. Market cap of $12.22B. The stock has lost 0.56% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 7.9M, which is 8.38% of the company's 94.24M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 10.67% (equivalent to 10.28 days of average volume). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.35% over the last week.

2. Kimco Realty Corporation (NYSE:KIM): A publicly owned real estate investment trust. The firm engages in acquisitions, development, and management of neighborhood and community shopping centers. Market cap of $6.52B. The stock has lost 5.92% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 22.6M, which is 5.76% of the company's 392.33M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 5.55% (equivalent to 5.03 days of average volume). The stock has lost 1.25% over the last year.

3. The Mosaic Company (NYSE:MOS): Engages in the production and marketing of concentrated phosphate- and potash-based crop nutrients for the agriculture industry worldwide. Market cap of $21.14B. The stock has lost 33.29% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 21.9M, which is 4.91% of the company's 446.15M share float. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.45% over the last week.

4. Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM): Engages in the ownership and operation of natural and organic food supermarkets. Market cap of $11.90B. The stock has lost 4.0% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 7.6M, which is 4.63% of the company's 163.98M share float. The stock has gained 34.3% over the last year.

5. Legg Mason Inc. (NYSE:LM): Operates as an asset management company worldwide. Market cap of $3.31B. The stock has lost 17.28% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 5.2M, which is 4.61% of the company's 112.92M share float. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading 7.38% below its SMA20, 10.66% below its SMA50, and 22.88% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.1% over the last week.

6. E*TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC): Provides online brokerage and related products and services primarily to individual retail investors in the United States. Market cap of $2.25B. The stock has lost 32.07% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 11.8M, which is 4.61% of the company's 255.82M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.12). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 9.09% over the last week.

7. Rockwell Collins Inc. (NYSE:COL): Engages in the design, production, and support of communications and aviation electronics for commercial and military customers worldwide. Market cap of $8.11B. The stock has lost 4.25% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 6.0M, which is 4.25% of the company's 141.32M share float. The stock has lost 6.26% over the last year.

8. MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (WFR): Engages in the development, manufacture, and sale of silicon wafers for the semiconductor industry worldwide. Market cap of $845.82M. The stock has lost 48.02% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 9.2M, which is 4.01% of the company's 229.54M share float. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 12.62% over the last week.

9. Boston Properties Inc. (NYSE:BXP): A real estate investment trust (REIT), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and development of office properties. Market cap of $14.03B. The stock has lost 6.78% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 5.7M, which is 3.92% of the company's 145.34M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 7.98% (equivalent to 8.42 days of average volume). The stock has gained 18.31% over the last year.

10. Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ:WYNN): Engages in the development, ownership, and operation of destination casino resorts. Market cap of $13.07B. The stock has lost 31.0% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 3.0M, which is 3.82% of the company's 78.52M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.44). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.08% over the last week.

11. Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE:WHR): Engages in the manufacture and marketing of home appliances worldwide. Market cap of $3.56B. The stock has lost 12.18% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 2.8M, which is 3.69% of the company's 75.98M share float. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 11.94%.

12. Ventas, Inc. (NYSE:VTR): Engages in investment, management, financing, and leasing of properties in the healthcare industry. Market cap of $15.22B. The stock has lost 0.79% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 9.9M, which is 3.46% of the company's 285.99M share float. The stock has gained 12.38% over the last year.

13. First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR): Manufactures and sells solar modules using a thin-film semiconductor technology. Market cap of $2.72B. The stock has lost 63.30% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 2.0M, which is 3.36% of the company's 59.57M share float. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 30.37% over the last week.

14. GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME): Operates as a retailer of video game products and personal computer (PC) entertainment software. Market cap of $3.23B. The stock has lost 4.78% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 4.4M, which is 3.26% of the company's 134.98M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 29.38% (equivalent to 10.94 days of average volume). The stock has gained 9.17% over the last year.

15. priceline.com Incorporated (NASDAQ:PCLN): Operates as an online travel company. Market cap of $22.17B. The stock has lost 15.24% over the past quarter. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 1.5M, which is 3.04% of the company's 49.36M share float. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.11% over the last week.

*Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.