Here is What Hedge Funds Think About Flowers Foods, Inc. (FLO)

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Is Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO) worth your attention right now? The best stock pickers are becoming more confident. The number of long hedge fund positions inched up by 3 lately.

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit, there are plenty of metrics investors can use to track Mr. Market. A pair of the best are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top investment managers can outclass the S&P 500 by a healthy amount (see just how much).

Just as beneficial, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the world of equities. Just as you’d expect, there are many motivations for an insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if shareholders know where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to take a look at the latest action regarding Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO).

What have hedge funds been doing with Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 17 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 21% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly.

Flowers Foods options in play as shares flourish on Hostess Brands bankruptcyWhen looking at the hedgies we track, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group had the biggest position in Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO), worth close to $89.6 million, accounting for 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by John Lykouretzos of Hoplite Capital Management, with a $84.9 million position; 2.7% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other hedge funds that hold long positions include Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, Larry Foley and Paul Farrell’s Bronson Point Partners and Donald Chiboucis’s Columbus Circle Investors.

Consequently, specific money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Columbus Circle Investors, managed by Donald Chiboucis, established the biggest position in Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO). Columbus Circle Investors had 41.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. John Lykouretzos’s Hoplite Capital Management also initiated a $16.5 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new FLO positions are D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, and David Costen Haley’s HBK Investments.

What have insiders been doing with Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO)?

Insider buying is best served when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the last half-year time period, Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 4 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO). These stocks are Gruma S.A.B. de C.V. (ADR) (NYSE:GMK), The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN), Ingredion Inc (NYSE:INGR), Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RAH), and Hillshire Brands Co (NYSE:HSH). This group of stocks are in the processed & packaged goods industry and their market caps are closest to FLO’s market cap.

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