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Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Western Alliance Bancorporation (WAL)?

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Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL) was in 11 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of March. WAL investors should pay attention to a decrease in hedge fund interest recently. There were 11 hedge funds in our database with WAL positions at the end of the previous quarter.

To most market participants, hedge funds are assumed to be worthless, old financial vehicles of yesteryear. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation today, we at Insider Monkey choose to focus on the top tier of this club, around 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group controls the majority of the hedge fund industry’s total asset base, and by keeping an eye on their best investments, we have spotted a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outpaced the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (see all of our picks from August).

Equally as important, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. Just as you’d expect, there are a variety of stimuli for a corporate insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if you understand where to look (learn more here).

Consequently, we’re going to take a glance at the recent action encompassing Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL).

What have hedge funds been doing with Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 11 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 0% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings meaningfully.

Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL)Of the funds we track, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group had the biggest position in Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL), worth close to $13.2 million, accounting for less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. On Citadel Investment Group’s heels is Chuck Royce of Royce & Associates, with a $10.9 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Other peers that hold long positions include Richard Driehaus’s Driehaus Capital, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

Due to the fact that Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL) has faced a declination in interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, we can see that there exists a select few hedge funds that slashed their full holdings in Q1. Intriguingly, Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital said goodbye to the biggest stake of all the hedgies we watch, worth about $0.2 million in stock.. Steven Cohen’s fund, SAC Capital Advisors, also dropped its stock, about $0.2 million worth. These bearish behaviors are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

How have insiders been trading Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is best served when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time frame, Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL) has seen 2 unique insiders purchasing, and 8 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL). These stocks are BBCN Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBCN), PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ:PACW), Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI), WestAmerica Bancorp. (NASDAQ:WABC), and CVB Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:CVBF). This group of stocks are the members of the regional – pacific banks industry and their market caps resemble WAL’s market cap.

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