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Hedge Funds Are Selling Unilever plc (ADR) (UL)

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Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL) was in 7 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. UL has experienced a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds in recent months. There were 8 hedge funds in our database with UL positions at the end of the previous quarter.

Unilever plc (ADR)

If you’d ask most traders, hedge funds are assumed to be unimportant, old financial vehicles of years past. While there are greater than 8000 funds trading today, we choose to focus on the masters of this club, around 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group has its hands on the majority of the smart money’s total capital, and by tracking their best picks, we have unearthed a few investment strategies that have historically beaten the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a 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 outperformed the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Just as key, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the investments you’re interested in. Just as you’d expect, there are a variety of incentives for an upper level exec to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would buy. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this strategy if shareholders understand where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, let’s take a peek at the latest action encompassing Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL).

Hedge fund activity in Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL)

In preparation for this year, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -13% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, Andrew Sandler’s Sandler Capital Management had the biggest position in Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL), worth close to $23.7 million, comprising 1.2% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is GAMCO Investors, managed by Mario Gabelli, which held a $4.9 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other peers that are bullish include J. Alan Reid, Jr.’s Forward Management, Steve Shapiro’s Intrepid Capital Management Inc DE and Russell Lucas’s Lucas Capital Management.

Judging by the fact that Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL) has experienced bearish sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, we can see that there were a few funds who sold off their entire stakes in Q4. Intriguingly, Paul Singer’s Elliott Management cut the biggest investment of the “upper crust” of funds we watch, totaling an estimated $5.1 million in stock.. Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s fund, Arrowstreet Capital, also sold off its stock, about $4.4 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 1 funds in Q4.

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

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the latest six-month time period, Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over 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 resemble UL’s market cap.

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