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Hedge Funds Are Buying Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM)

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) was in 32 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. WFM shareholders have witnessed an increase in enthusiasm from smart money of late. There were 30 hedge funds in our database with WFM holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

If you’d ask most shareholders, hedge funds are assumed to be unimportant, outdated financial tools of yesteryear. While there are greater than 8000 funds trading at present, we look at the top tier of this club, around 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group controls the lion’s share of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by watching their highest performing equity investments, we have come up with a number of investment strategies that have historically outstripped the 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 started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outperformed the S&P 500 index by 25 percentage points in 6.5 month (explore the details and some picks here).

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM)Equally as key, positive insider trading activity is a second way to break down the investments you’re interested in. Obviously, there are a variety of stimuli for a bullish insider to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if investors know where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a gander at the key action surrounding Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM).

Hedge fund activity in Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM)

At year’s end, a total of 32 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 7% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes significantly.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies had the most valuable position in Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM), worth close to $192 million, comprising 0.6% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Columbus Circle Investors, managed by Donald Chiboucis, which held a $124 million position; the fund has 1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that are bullish include Lee Ainslie’s Maverick Capital, James Crichton and Adam Weiss’s Scout Capital Management and Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors.

Now, key money managers were breaking ground themselves. Maverick Capital, managed by Lee Ainslie, assembled the most outsized position in Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM). Maverick Capital had 52 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. James Crichton and Adam Weiss’s Scout Capital Management also initiated a $50 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are John Lykouretzos’s Hoplite Capital Management, Sean Cullinan’s Point State Capital, and Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp.

How have insiders been trading Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM)?

Insider buying is most useful when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last half-year time frame, Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) has experienced 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 14 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the results exhibited by Insider Monkey’s research, everyday investors must always watch hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) applies perfectly to this mantra.

Click here to learn more about Insider Monkey’s Hedge Fund Newsletter

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