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Hedge Funds Are Betting On Unilever plc (ADR) (UL)

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Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL) has experienced an increase in enthusiasm from smart money lately.

To most shareholders, hedge funds are seen as underperforming, old financial tools of yesteryear. While there are over 8000 funds trading at present, we at Insider Monkey choose to focus on the bigwigs of this group, about 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group oversees the lion’s share of the hedge fund industry’s total asset base, and by tracking their top investments, we have determined a number of investment strategies that have historically outperformed Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped 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 outperformed the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Unilever N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:UN)Equally as beneficial, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the investments you’re interested in. Obviously, there are a variety of motivations for a bullish insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if piggybackers know what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, let’s take a peek at the key action encompassing Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL).

What have hedge funds been doing with Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL)?

Heading into Q2, a total of 11 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 22% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes meaningfully.

According to our comprehensive database, Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors had the biggest position in Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL), worth close to $8.3 million, accounting for 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. On GAMCO Investors’s heels is Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, which held a $8.1 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedgies that hold long positions include Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, Steve Shapiro’s Intrepid Capital Management Inc DE and Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management.

Consequently, key money managers have jumped into Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL) headfirst. Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, created the largest position in Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL). Arrowstreet Capital had 8.1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management also initiated a $6.2 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest 180-day time frame, Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL). These stocks are Post Holdings Inc (NYSE:POST), Lancaster Colony Corp. (NASDAQ:LANC), The WhiteWave Foods Co (NYSE:WWAV), H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ), and Kraft Foods Group Inc (NASDAQ:KRFT). This group of stocks are in the food – major diversified industry and their market caps match UL’s market cap.

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