Hedge Funds Are Selling WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG)

Is WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG) a cheap investment right now? Money managers are turning less bullish. The number of bullish hedge fund positions shrunk by 1 in recent months.

To the average investor, there are tons of metrics shareholders can use to analyze publicly traded companies. Some of the most innovative are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite investment managers can trounce their index-focused peers by a healthy amount (see just how much).

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG)

Just as key, positive insider trading activity is another way to parse down the world of equities. Just as you’d expect, there are many stimuli for a bullish insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would buy. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if “monkeys” know where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, it’s important to take a gander at the key action surrounding WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG).

Hedge fund activity in WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG)

At year’s end, a total of 25 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -4% from the third quarter. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings significantly.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Peter Adam Hochfelder’s Brahman Capital had the most valuable position in WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG), worth close to $48 million billion, accounting for 2.5% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Mariko Gordon of Daruma Asset Management, with a $42 million position; the fund has 2.5% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedgies that are bullish include Robert Pohly’s Samlyn Capital, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Paul ReederáandáEdward Shapiro’s PAR Capital Management.

Judging by the fact that WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG) has witnessed a declination in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, logic holds that there was a specific group of fund managers that slashed their positions entirely in Q4. It’s worth mentioning that Arthur B Cohen and Joseph Healey’s Healthcor Management LP said goodbye to the biggest stake of the 450+ funds we monitor, worth an estimated $47 million in stock., and Andreas Halvorsen of Viking Global was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $38 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest dropped by 1 funds in Q4.

What have insiders been doing with WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last half-year time frame, WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG) has seen 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the returns demonstrated by the aforementioned research, retail investors should always watch hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG) is an important part of this process.

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

Insider Monkey’s small-cap strategy returned 29.2% between September 2012 and February 2013 versus 8.7% for the S&P 500 index. Try it now by clicking the link above.

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