Is AAON, Inc. (AAON) A Good Stock To Buy?

One of the most fertile grounds for large abnormal returns is hedge funds’ most popular small-cap picks, which are not so widely followed and often trade at a discount to their intrinsic value. In this article we will check out hedge fund activity in another small-cap stock: AAON, Inc. (Nasdaq:AAON)

AAON investors should pay attention to a decrease in hedge fund interest lately.

AAON was in nine hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2016. There were 12 hedge funds in our database with AAON holdings at the end of the previous quarter. 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 II-VI, Inc. (NASDAQ:IIVI), Belmond Ltd (NYSE: BEL) and WNS (Holdings) Limited (ADR) (NYSE:WNS) to gather more data points.

We care about hedge fund sentiment because historically hedge funds' stock picks delivered strong risk adjusted returns. There are certain segments of the market where hedge funds' stock picks performed much better than its benchmarks. For instance, the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks among the best performing hedge funds returned 18% over the last 12 months outpacing S&P 500 Index by more than 10 percentage points. We developed this strategy 2.5 years ago and started sharing its picks in our quarterly newsletter. It bested the S&P 500 Index ETFs by delivering a solid 39% vs. 22% gain for its benchmarks. 

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Keeping this in mind, we're going to take a look at the fresh action surrounding AAON, Inc.

What have hedge funds been doing with AAON?

At Q3's end, a total of nine of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -25% from one quarter earlier. By comparison, six hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in AAON heading into this year. With hedgies' positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

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