Apparel Stocks Most Loved By Hedge Funds

 |  Includes: COH, CTAS, LULU, PVH, RL, TRLG, UA, VFC
by: Insider Monkey

We track hedge fund managers because they’re the smartest investors around. They take into account risks as well as potential returns when making decisions. They evaluate the intrinsic value of stocks with well functional models and strategies. They also have access to experts who can guide them about the trends in the industries they are investing in. Our research has shown that individual investors are more likely to beat the market by imitating insiders and hedge funds than trading against them. Insider Monkey tracks nearly 350 hedge funds. We present a list of 8 mid-to-large cap apparel stocks that hedge funds were holding in their portfolios at the end of the third quarter:



No. of hedge fund


Coach, Inc.




Ralph Lauren Corporation




PVH Corp.




lululemon athletica Inc.




True Religion Apparel, Inc.




V.F. Corporation




Cintas Corporation




Under Armour, Inc.




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Here's a brief rundown of the top 8 stocks:

1. Coach, Inc. (NYSE:COH): Coach acts as the No. 1 luxury accessories brand and is the most favored apparel stock. Thirty-one hedge funds among our list owned it in Q2. Coach returned 10% year to date, which significantly beat the SPY’s return of 3%. Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management, the largest hedge fund stakeholder of Coach, increased its position by 1% in Q3 to more than 6 million shares.

2. Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE:RL): Ralph Lauren was also in 31 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the third quarter. Ralph Lauren also performed well in 2011 and returned 24% year to date. Among the hedge funds we track, RL’s biggest owner is Stephen Mandel’s Lone Pine Capital, which held 4.2 million shares of RL at the end of Q3. That's a 3% increase in its position from the previous quarter.

3. PVH Corp (NYSE:PVH): PVH has returned 10% year to date. The stock was owned by 23 hedge funds as of the end of September. The biggest stakeholder was Jeffrey Vinik’s Vinik Asset Management. The firm initiated a new position in PVH and bought about 870 thousand shares in the third quarter. Patrick McCormack, Ken Griffin and Jim Simons were among the hedge fund managers who initiated new positions in PVH last quarter (see Ken Griffin’s favorite stocks).

4. Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU): LULU ranks as the 4th most popular apparel stock and soared by 35% in 2011. Sixteen hedge funds had the stock at the end of September. Jeffrey Vinik’s Vinik Asset Management, which was the largest hedge fund stakeholder of LULU, increased its position by more than 8 times, with 1.31 million shares at the end of September (see billionaire Jeffrey Vinik’ top stock picks).

5. True Religion Apparel, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRLG): TRLG is the biggest winner in this list, and it has returned 53% so far in 2011. The stock was in 16 hedge funds’ portfolios in Q3. Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates, as the biggest owner last quarter, had decreased its position by 5% of and held nearly 700 thousand shares at the end of September.

6. V.F. Corporation (NYSE:VFC): VFC skyrocketed and returned 54% in 2011, the stock performed remarkably in Q3. Among sixteen hedge funds that invested in the stock during the third quarter, eight of them initiated new positions in that period. Ken Heebner’s Capital Growth Management had 565 thousand shares of VFC.

7. Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS): CTAS has gained 27% in 2011. The stock was owned by 15 hedge funds last quarter. These hedge funds either initiated new positions or largely boosted their existing positions in the stock during Q3. Jean-Marie Eveillard’s First Eagle Investment Management held around 16.64 million shares in CTAS.

8. Under Armour, Inc. (NYSE:UA): Under Armour was held by 14 hedge funds and the stock returned 32% YTD. Donald Chiboucis’ Columbus Circle Investors had the most shares in UA, with nearly 900 thousand shares. This number was after the firm decreased its position by 29%.

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