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The 800+ hedge funds and famous money managers tracked by Insider Monkey have already compiled and submitted their 13F filings for the second quarter, which unveil their equity positions as of June 30th. We went through these filings, fixed typos and other more significant errors and identified the changes in hedge fund portfolios. Our extensive review of these public filings is finally over, so this article is set to reveal the smart money sentiment towards Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD).

Is Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD) a buy here? Investors who are in the know were getting less bullish. The number of bullish hedge fund positions decreased by 2 recently. Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD) was in 47 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of June. The all time high for this statistic is 54. Our calculations also showed that GOLD isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q2 rankings).

Why do we pay any attention at all to hedge fund sentiment? Our research has shown that a select group of hedge fund holdings outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 79 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Bart Baum of Ionic Capital Management

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, lithium mining is one of the fastest growing industries right now, so we are checking out stock pitches like this emerging lithium stock. We go through lists like the 10 best EV 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. With all of this in mind let’s view the latest hedge fund action encompassing Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD).

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

Heading into the third quarter of 2021, a total of 47 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -4% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards GOLD over the last 24 quarters. So, let’s see which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, Renaissance Technologies has the largest position in Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD), worth close to $248 million, corresponding to 0.3% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Kerr Neilson of Platinum Asset Management, with a $197.7 million position; 4.6% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other members of the smart money that are bullish comprise Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Odey Asset Management Group allocated the biggest weight to Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD), around 7.76% of its 13F portfolio. Platinum Asset Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 4.57 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to GOLD.

Due to the fact that Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD) has faced a decline in interest from hedge fund managers, it’s safe to say that there were a few money managers that decided to sell off their full holdings heading into Q3. It’s worth mentioning that Richard Oldfield’s Oldfield Partners dumped the largest stake of the 750 funds monitored by Insider Monkey, worth close to $94.2 million in stock, and Stanley Druckenmiller’s Duquesne Capital was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $71.4 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 2 funds heading into Q3.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD) but similarly valued. These stocks are Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (NASDAQ:CTSH), AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL), HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ), Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW), Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:MFG), Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE:SU), and Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS). This group of stocks’ market valuations match GOLD’s market valuation.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position CTSH,41,2996454,8 AFL,33,268048,-3 HPQ,39,1276740,-4 PANW,69,4720641,5 MFG,6,15041,1 SU,32,1115960,-1 DFS,37,450985,-8 Average,36.7,1549124,-0.3 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 36.7 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1549 million. That figure was $1235 million in GOLD’s case. Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:MFG) is the least popular one with only 6 bullish hedge fund positions. Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for GOLD is 61.7. 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. This is a slightly positive signal but we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. 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 22.9% in 2021 through October 1st and beat the market again by 5.6 percentage points. Unfortunately GOLD wasn’t nearly as popular as these 5 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on GOLD were disappointed as the stock returned -12% since the end of June (through 10/1) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market since 2019.

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