Is BB&T Corporation (NYSE:BBT) a buy, sell, or hold? Prominent investors are becoming more confident. The number of long hedge fund positions inched up by 4 lately.
To the average investor, there are many gauges market participants can use to track their holdings. A couple of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top fund managers can outclass the market by a significant margin (see just how much).
Equally as important, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the financial markets. As the old adage goes: there are many reasons for a corporate insider to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this method if “monkeys” understand where to look (learn more here).
Now, it’s important to take a glance at the latest action surrounding BB&T Corporation (NYSE:BBT).
How are hedge funds trading BB&T Corporation (NYSE:BBT)?
At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 27 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 17% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes meaningfully.
Of the funds we track, First Eagle Investment Management, managed by Jean-Marie Eveillard, holds the most valuable position in BB&T Corporation (NYSE:BBT). First Eagle Investment Management has a $391 million position in the stock, comprising 1.4% of its 13F portfolio. On First Eagle Investment Management’s heels is D. E. Shaw of D E Shaw, with a $22 million call position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedgies with similar optimism include Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors, George Soros’s Soros Fund Management and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.
As aggregate interest increased, key hedge funds were leading the bulls’ herd. Soros Fund Management, managed by George Soros, initiated the largest position in BB&T Corporation (NYSE:BBT). Soros Fund Management had 13 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Neil Chriss’s Hutchin Hill Capital also initiated a $9 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new BBT investors: Anil Stevens and Glenn Shapiro’s Parameter Capital Management, James Dondero’s Highland Capital Management, and Charles Davidson’s Wexford Capital.
How have insiders been trading BB&T Corporation (NYSE:BBT)?
Bullish insider trading is best served when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the last half-year time frame, BB&T Corporation (NYSE:BBT) has seen 2 unique insiders purchasing, and 5 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).
With the returns shown by the aforementioned strategies, retail investors should always monitor hedge fund and insider trading activity, and BB&T Corporation (NYSE:BBT) is no exception.
Insider Monkey’s small-cap strategy returned 29.2% between September 2012 and February 2013 versus 8.7% for the S&P 500 index. Try it now by clicking the link above.