Hedge Funds Are Betting On Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG)

Is Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) a buy, sell, or hold? The smart money is getting more bullish. The number of bullish hedge fund positions advanced by 2 recently.

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit, there are many indicators market participants can use to watch their holdings. A couple of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite investment managers can outclass their index-focused peers by a superb margin (see just how much).

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG)Equally as beneficial, positive insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. Just as you’d expect, there are lots of motivations for an upper level exec to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Several academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if investors know where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a glance at the latest action regarding Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG).

How have hedgies been trading Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG)?

Heading into 2013, a total of 31 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 7% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes significantly.

Of the funds we track, Viking Global, managed by Andreas Halvorsen, holds the most valuable position in Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG). Viking Global has a $401 million position in the stock, comprising 2.8% of its 13F portfolio. On Viking Global’s heels is Stephen Mandel of Lone Pine Capital, with a $200 million position; the fund has 1.3% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedgies that hold long positions include Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, and David Stemerman’s Conatus Capital Management.

As one would reasonably expect, specific money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Lone Pine Capital, managed by Stephen Mandel, assembled the most valuable position in Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG). Lone Pine Capital had 200 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Anand Parekh’s Alyeska Investment Group also made a $45 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Pasco Alfaro / Richard Tumure’s Miura Global Management, Jacob Gottlieb’s Visium Asset Management, and Brian Ashford-Russell and Tim Woolley’s Polar Capital.

Insider trading activity in Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG)

Bullish insider trading is best served when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the latest 180-day time period, Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 8 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the results exhibited by the aforementioned time-tested strategies, everyday investors should always monitor hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) is an important part of this process.

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