Many hedge fund managers make money by identifying undervalued companies and investing in them before they grow more successful. Others look for companies they believe to be poorly managed and buy up a large enough stake to demand managerial changes. One of the most effective strategies, though, is also one that is commonly forgotten; hedge funds often make money by making bets against the success of companies. A money manager initiates a short sale on a company that they believe to be overvalued. If the price of the company goes down as expected the hedge fund then makes money off of the bet. Goldman Sachs has recently released a list of companies that hedge funds are short selling the most as part of its latest "Hedge Fund Trend Monitor," according to CNBC. Here are some of those companies.
AT&T (T) is currently the number one company that hedge funds are betting against. According to Goldman, the telecommunications company has a combined short interest of $6.3 billion. At this level, it has outpaced even the second most shorted company by nearly $2.5 billion in short bets.
Semiconductor and computer giant Intel (INTC) is the second most shorted company from the big bank's list of hated stocks. As of the time of the report, hedge funds had made bets totaling about $3.9 billion against the company.
Third on the list of shorted companies is retail behemoth Walmart (WMT). Money managers at hedge funds across the country have placed about $3.5 billion in bets against this chain.
Semiconductor and graphics processor manufacturer Nvidia (NVDA) has gone from being one of the more highly favored stocks to one of the most overvalued in the eyes of hedge fund leaders. Goldman suggests that hedge funds hold a total of $3.3 billion in short bets against the company.
CVS Health and Walt Disney
Health care service giant CVS Health (CVS) rounds out the top five stocks that hedge funds are betting against. It is tied with Walt Disney (DIS), as both companies have $3.1 billion in total wagers that their stock prices will drop into the future.
Walmart is not the only major retail chain that hedge funds are making significant bets against at this time. Target (TGT) is also on the list. However, with $2.9 billion in short bets as compared with Walmart's $3.5 billion, hedge funds may be very slightly less pessimistic about Target's future stock performance.
The only oil and gas company to make the top 10 is Chevron (CVX), with $2.6 billion in total short bets at this time.
Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer
The last two spots on Goldman's list include two pharmaceuticals companies: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Pfizer (PFE). Each of these companies has $2.4 billion in wagers against their future stock success.