Hedge Funds Are Crazy About Symantec Corporation (SYMC)

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Is Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) a buy?

To many market players, hedge funds are perceived as bloated, outdated financial vehicles of a period lost to current times. Although there are more than 8,000 hedge funds trading currently, Insider Monkey looks at the elite of this club, around 525 funds. It is assumed that this group oversees the lion’s share of the smart money’s total assets, and by keeping an eye on their best investments, we’ve spotted a number of investment strategies that have historically beaten the market. 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 33 percentage points in 11 months (see all of our picks from August).

Equally as useful, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to analyze the investments you’re interested in. There are a variety of motivations for an upper level exec to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this method if “monkeys” understand where to look (learn more here).

Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC)

Now that that’s out of the way, we’re going to examine the latest info for Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC).

What does the smart money think about Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC)?

In preparation for the third quarter, a total of 35 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 21% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes significantly.

When using filings from the hedgies we track, Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, holds the most valuable position in Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC). Renaissance Technologies has a $167.3 million position in the stock, comprising 0.4% of its 13F portfolio. On Renaissance Technologies’s heels is AQR Capital Management, managed by Cliff Asness, which held a $115.9 million position; the fund has 0.4% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedge funds that are bullish include Peter Adam Hochfelder’s Brahman Capital, Gregg J. Powers’s Private Capital Management and Clint Carlson’s Carlson Capital.

As one would understandably expect, certain bigger names were breaking ground themselves. Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, assembled the most outsized position in Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC). Renaissance Technologies had 167.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management also made a $115.9 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new SYMC investors: Peter Adam Hochfelder’s Brahman Capital, Gregg J. Powers’s Private Capital Management, and Clint Carlson’s Carlson Capital.

Insider trading activity in Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC)

Insider buying is best served when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last 180-day time period, Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 6 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We’ll check out the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC). These stocks are AsiaInfo-Linkage, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASIA), Mantech International Corp (NASDAQ:MANT), Brady Corp (NYSE:BRC), Sourcefire, Inc. (NASDAQ:FIRE), and Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHKP). This group of stocks are in the security software & services industry and their market caps are similar to SYMC’s market cap.

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