Advertising agencies are more than the subject of television’s Mad Men – they have serious market caps and the very big job of helping businesses sell more by informing the masses of all the products they “have” to have. They make good investments because as the economy begins to improve, businesses will be looking to ad agencies to help move things along. Hedge fund managers, with their teams of analysts, know this and invest accordingly.
Here is a list of advertising agencies that were popular with hedge funds in the third quarter.
Omnicom Group, Inc. (OMC): Of the 300+ hedge funds we track, 30 had positions in OMC at the end of the third quarter, up from 25 at the end of the second quarter. Total hedge fund investment in the company slipped slightly, going from $636.08 million at the end of June to $604.48 million at the end of September. Jean-Marie Eveillard’s First Eagle Investment Management had $270.64 million invested in OMC at the end of September after upping its stake in the company by +5% in the third quarter.
The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (IPG): The number of hedge funds invested in IPG rose from 17 at the end of the second quarter to 22 at the end of the third quarter. Total hedge fund investment in the company fell from $570.25 at the end of June to $442.82 million at the end of September. John W. Rogers’ Ariel Investments is a fan of IPG. The fund had a position worth $117.89 million in the company after increasing its stake by +18% in the third quarter.
Focus Media Holding, Ltd. (FMCN): Total hedge fund investment in FMCN fell from $235.57 million at the end of the second quarter across 18 funds to $192.35 million over 17 funds at the end of the third quarter. Both Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Jeffrey Vinik’s Vinik Asset Management increased their positions in FMCN during the third quarter, while Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management initiated a new $16.35 million position in the company.
Monster Worldwide, Inc. (MWW): The number of hedge funds invested in MWW increased from 14 at the end of the second quarter to 15 at the end of the third quarter. However, the total value of hedge fund investment in the company dipped sharply, going from $107.43 million at the end of June to $28.97 million at the end of September. Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates, Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors and Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies each increased their positions in MWW during the third quarter though.
ValueClick, Inc. (VCLK): While the number of hedge funds invested in VCLK did not increase during the third quarter, the total volume of hedge fund investment in the company did increase, moving from $109.66 million spread across 16 funds at the end of June to $112.66 million across 14 funds at the end of September. Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates and D.E. Shaw’s D E Shaw both increased their positions in VCLK significantly in the third quarter, while Donald Chiboucis’ Columbus Circle Investors initiated a new $27.09 million position in the company.
QuinStreet, Inc. (QNST): There were 6 hedge funds invested in QNST at the end of the third quarter, together representing positions worth almost $18 million. This was a big decline from the $28.34 million invested across 12 funds at the end of the second quarter. It may be a big difference, but some of the industry’s best hedge fund managers are invested in QNST, including Philippe Lafont’s Coatue Management, Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, D.E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.