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Babcock & Wilcox Co (NYSE:BWC), SPX Corporation (NYSE:SPW): Hedge Funds Are Buying Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG)

Is Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG) a buy right now? Hedge funds are becoming more confident. The number of bullish hedge fund positions rose by 1 recently.

Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG)In today’s marketplace, there are tons of indicators market participants can use to track the equity markets. A duo of the best are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top fund managers can beat their index-focused peers by a significant margin (see just how much).

Equally as integral, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the world of equities. There are many reasons for a corporate insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would buy. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if investors know where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, it’s important to take a peek at the latest action surrounding Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG).

What have hedge funds been doing with Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 11 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 10% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings meaningfully.

Of the funds we track, Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates had the largest position in Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG), worth close to $42 million, accounting for 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, which held a $39 million position; the fund has 0.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedgies that are bullish include Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and Bruce Kovner’s Caxton Associates LP.

Consequently, key money managers have jumped into Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG) headfirst. Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, established the biggest position in Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG). Arrowstreet Capital had 39 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Bruce Kovner’s Caxton Associates LP also initiated a $3 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Israel Englander’s Catapult Capital Management and Mike Vranos’s Ellington.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time frame, Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 9 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG). These stocks are Lennox International Inc. (NYSE:LII), Crane Co. (NYSE:CR), Babcock & Wilcox Co (NYSE:BWC), SPX Corporation (NYSE:SPW), and Gardner Denver, Inc. (NYSE:GDI). This group of stocks are the members of the diversified machinery industry and their market caps are closest to GGG’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Lennox International Inc. (NYSE:LII) 15 0 11
Crane Co. (NYSE:CR) 19 0 9
Babcock & Wilcox Co (NYSE:BWC) 15 1 1
SPX Corporation (NYSE:SPW) 21 0 6
Gardner Denver, Inc. (NYSE:GDI) 47 0 4

With the results shown by Insider Monkey’s research, retail investors should always monitor hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG) is an important part of this process.

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