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Here is What Hedge Funds Think About National Instruments Corp (NATI)

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National Instruments Corp (NASDAQ:NATI) was in 8 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. NATI investors should pay attention to a decrease in hedge fund interest recently. There were 8 hedge funds in our database with NATI positions at the end of the previous quarter.

To most shareholders, hedge funds are perceived as underperforming, outdated financial tools of the past. While there are more than 8000 funds with their doors open at present, we choose to focus on the upper echelon of this club, around 450 funds. It is estimated that this group has its hands on most of all hedge funds’ total capital, and by keeping an eye on their highest performing investments, we have determined a few investment strategies that have historically outstripped Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually 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 outpaced the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (see all of our picks from August).

Equally as key, positive insider trading activity is another way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. As the old adage goes: there are a variety of reasons for an executive to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this method if “monkeys” understand where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a peek at the recent action encompassing National Instruments Corp (NASDAQ:NATI).

What have hedge funds been doing with National Instruments Corp (NASDAQ:NATI)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 8 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings significantly.

National Instruments Corp (NASDAQ:NATI)When looking at the hedgies we track, Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, holds the biggest position in National Instruments Corp (NASDAQ:NATI). Royce & Associates has a $203.9 million position in the stock, comprising 0.6% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group, with a $6.7 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedge funds that hold long positions include Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, Richard Chilton’s Chilton Investment Company and Boykin Curry’s Eagle Capital Management.

Seeing as National Instruments Corp (NASDAQ:NATI) has faced a declination in interest from the smart money, it’s easy to see that there lies a certain “tier” of money managers that decided to sell off their full holdings in Q1. It’s worth mentioning that Ken Grossman and Glen Schneider’s SG Capital Management dumped the biggest stake of all the hedgies we track, valued at about $4.7 million in stock., and Brian Ashford-Russell and Tim Woolley of Polar Capital was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $4.2 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

How are insiders trading National Instruments Corp (NASDAQ:NATI)?

Bullish insider trading is most useful when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last half-year time frame, National Instruments Corp (NASDAQ:NATI) has seen 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 5 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 National Instruments Corp (NASDAQ:NATI). These stocks are ACI Worldwide Inc (NASDAQ:ACIW), Mentor Graphics Corp (NASDAQ:MENT), ANSYS, Inc. (NASDAQ:ANSS), PTC Inc (NASDAQ:PMTC), and Concur Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNQR). All of these stocks are in the technical & system software industry and their market caps are closest to NATI’s market cap.

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