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Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About Washington Federal Inc. (WAFD) Anymore

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At the moment, there are a multitude of metrics investors can use to track publicly traded companies. Two of the best are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top investment managers can trounce the broader indices by a superb amount (see just how much).

Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD)

Equally as key, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to look at the marketplace. As the old adage goes: there are a number of stimuli for an insider to drop shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Various academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this method if shareholders understand where to look (learn more here).

Thus, we’re going to study the latest info surrounding Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD).

How have hedgies been trading Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD)?

In preparation for the third quarter, a total of 12 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -33% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings substantially.

According to our 13F database, Dreman Value Management, managed by David Dreman, holds the largest position in Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD). Dreman Value Management has a $34.3 million position in the stock, comprising 1.1% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Chuck Royce of Royce & Associates, with a $11.4 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining hedge funds with similar optimism include Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, and Glenn Russell Dubin’s Highbridge Capital Management.

Due to the fact Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) has witnessed a fall in interest from the smart money’s best and brightest, it’s easy to see that there was a specific group of fund managers that decided to sell off their full holdings in Q1. It’s worth mentioning that Israel Englander’s Millennium Management dropped the biggest investment of the “upper crust” of funds we key on, valued at close to $5 million in stock. Brian J. Higgins’s fund, King Street Capital, also dropped its stock, about $3.5 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 6 funds in Q1.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD)?

Legal insider trading, particularly when it’s bullish, is particularly usable when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest six-month time period, Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and zero 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 Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD). These stocks are First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:FNFG), Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI), Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA), Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC), and Capitol Federal Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:CFFN). This group of stocks belong to the savings & loans industry and their market caps are similar to WAFD’s market cap.

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