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Here is What Hedge Funds Think About Danaher Corporation (DHR) – Siemens AG (ADR) (SI), Honeywell International Inc. (HON)

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Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) was in 33 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. DHR has seen an increase in support from the world’s most elite money managers in recent months. There were 31 hedge funds in our database with DHR holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

If you’d ask most traders, hedge funds are seen as worthless, outdated financial tools of years past. While there are over 8000 funds with their doors open today, we look at the leaders of this club, around 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group has its hands on most of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by keeping an eye on their best equity investments, we have identified a few investment strategies that have historically outpaced Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a year 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 outclassed the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (explore the details and some picks here).

Danaher CorporationJust as integral, positive insider trading activity is a second way to break down the financial markets. Just as you’d expect, there are a number of incentives for an executive to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Many academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if piggybackers know what to do (learn more here).

Now, it’s important to take a glance at the latest action encompassing Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR).

What does the smart money think about Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR)?

At year’s end, a total of 33 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 6% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings meaningfully.

Of the funds we track, Viking Global, managed by Andreas Halvorsen, holds the biggest position in Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR). Viking Global has a $803.9 million position in the stock, comprising 5.6% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Generation Investment Management, managed by David Blood and Al Gore, which held a $373.9 million position; the fund has 8.8% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedge funds that are bullish include Doug Silverman’s Senator Investment Group, Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors and Robert Joseph Caruso’s Select Equity Group.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds have been driving this bullishness. Senator Investment Group, managed by Doug Silverman, assembled the most valuable position in Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR). Senator Investment Group had 134.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Panayotis æTakisÆ Sparaggis’s Alkeon Capital Management also made a $55.9 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new DHR positions are John Lykouretzos’s Hoplite Capital Management, Malcolm Fairbairn’s Ascend Capital, and Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital.

Insider trading activity in Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR)

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is most useful when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest six-month time period, Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 12 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR). These stocks are Siemens AG (ADR) (NYSE:SI), Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI), Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW), Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV (ADR) (NYSE:PHG), and Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON). All of these stocks are in the diversified machinery industry and their market caps resemble DHR’s market cap.

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