Dole Food Company, Inc. (DOLE): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

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Is it smart for investors to be bullish on Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE)?

To many of your peers, hedge funds are perceived as bloated, old financial vehicles of a period lost to current times. Although there are In excess of 8,000 hedge funds with their doors open currently, this site looks at the moguls of this club, about 525 funds. It is widely held that this group has its hands on most of the smart money's total assets, and by monitoring their best equity investments, we've determined a few investment strategies that have historically beaten the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year for a decade in our back tests, and since we've started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outpaced the S&P 500 index by 33 percentage points in 11 months (see all of our picks from August).

Equally as useful, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to analyze the world of equities. As the old adage goes: there are lots of incentives for a bullish insider to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if you understand what to do (learn more here).

Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE)

Now that that's out of the way, we're going to examine the latest info surrounding Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE).

How have hedgies been trading Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE)?

At Q2's end, a total of 19 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 73% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies' sentiment swirling, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes substantially.

According to our 13F database, Carlson Capital, managed by Clint Carlson, holds the largest position in Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE). Carlson Capital has a $24.4 million position in the stock, comprising 0.3% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Carl Tiedemann and Michael Tiedemann of TIG Advisors, with a $22.7 million position; 3.3% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedgies with similar optimism include Youlia Miteva's Proxima Capital Management, Sander Gerber's Hudson Bay Capital Management and John Thiessen's Vertex One Asset Management.

Now, particular hedge funds have been driving this bullishness. Carlson Capital, managed by Clint Carlson, created the largest position in Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE). Carlson Capital had 24.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Carl Tiedemann and Michael Tiedemann's TIG Advisors also initiated a $22.7 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new DOLE investors: Youlia Miteva's Proxima Capital Management, Sander Gerber's Hudson Bay Capital Management, and John Thiessen's Vertex One Asset Management.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE)?

Insider buying is most useful when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the last six-month time period, Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We'll also take a look at the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE). These stocks are ZHONGPIN INC. (NASDAQ:HOGS), Annies Inc (NYSE:BNNY), Post Holdings Inc (NYSE:POST), Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM), and Cal-Maine Foods Inc (NASDAQ:CALM). This group of stocks are in the food - major diversified industry and their market caps are similar to DOLE's market cap.

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