Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About Maidenform Brands, Inc. (MFB) Anymore

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Maidenform Brands, Inc. (NYSE:MFB) has experienced a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds lately.

If you’d ask most traders, hedge funds are seen as worthless, old investment tools of yesteryear. While there are more than 8000 funds with their doors open today, we at Insider Monkey hone in on the masters of this group, close to 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group has its hands on the majority of the smart money’s total capital, and by keeping an eye on their best investments, we have unearthed a few investment strategies that have historically beaten the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per 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 trumped the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (explore the details and some picks here).

Just as beneficial, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the financial markets. As the old adage goes: there are lots of reasons for an executive to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this method if “monkeys” understand where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to take a gander at the latest action encompassing Maidenform Brands, Inc. (NYSE:MFB).

How have hedgies been trading Maidenform Brands, Inc. (NYSE:MFB)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -13% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes meaningfully.

Maidenform Brands, Inc. (NYSE:MFB)Of the funds we track, Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates had the most valuable position in Maidenform Brands, Inc. (NYSE:MFB), worth close to $39.6 million, accounting for 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, which held a $1.8 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other peers that hold long positions include D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.

Since Maidenform Brands, Inc. (NYSE:MFB) has experienced declining sentiment from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s safe to say that there lies a certain “tier” of money managers who were dropping their full holdings heading into Q2. It’s worth mentioning that Andy Redleaf’s Whitebox Advisors cut the largest investment of all the hedgies we track, totaling close to $1.2 million in stock., and Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell of Arrowstreet Capital was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $0 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 1 funds heading into Q2.

What have insiders been doing with Maidenform Brands, Inc. (NYSE:MFB)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is best served when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest six-month time period, Maidenform Brands, Inc. (NYSE:MFB) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Maidenform Brands, Inc. (NYSE:MFB). These stocks are Oxford Industries, Inc. (NYSE:OXM), G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GIII), American Apparel Inc. (NYSEAMEX:APP), True Religion Apparel, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRLG), and Perry Ellis International, Inc. (NASDAQ:PERY). This group of stocks belong to the textile – apparel clothing industry and their market caps are similar to MFB’s market cap.

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