As one of the largest issuers of currency hedged exchange traded funds and the only publicly traded pure play ETF issuer, it makes sense that WisdomTree (NasdaqGS: WETF) has recently seen its shares surge.
Over the past 90 days, shares of the New York-based ETF issuer are up 46% compared to a gain of about 6% for the Russell 2000 over the same period. As the issuer of well-known currency hedged ETFs, such as the WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: HEDJ) and the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DXJ), WisdomTree’s stock is responding favorably to the stronger dollar. Over the past three months, the PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: UUP) and WisdomTree’s own WisdomTree Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: USDU) are up an average of 6.3%. [Dollar ETFs Look Good in January]
Already this year, HEDJ has added over $718 million in new assets, a total exceeded by just four other ETFs. Those inflows come after the ETF added nearly $5.1 billion in new assets last year, better than all but eight other ETFs. Nine months ago, HEDJ was a $1 billion ETF. It enters Thursday with $6.5 billion in AUM. [A Rush to Europe ETFs]
“We are encouraged by the accelerating flow trends and continue to see WETF as a key flow beneficiary of an appreciating USD,” said Citigroup analyst William Katz in a note obtained by Barron’s. Katz has a $20 price target on WisdomTree, according to Barron’s. That is nearly 25% above where the stock closed Wednesday.
While HEDJ is proving, as did DXJ in 2013, that shares of WisdomTree can enjoy a positive correlation to the rising greenback, there is arguably more to bull case for the stock.
Last May, WisdomTree announced 10 of its ETFs had over $1 billion in AUM, but only two – DXJ and HEDJ – were currency hedged ETFs. [10 WisdomTree ETFs Top $1B in AUM]
In addition to its leverage to the strong dollar and central bank easing in Europe and Japan, WisdomTree has significant exposure to the ongoing boom in U.S. dividends.