Is Valley National Bancorp (NYSE:VLY) worth your attention right now? Money managers are reducing their bets on the stock. The number of bullish hedge fund positions went down by 2 lately.
To the average investor, there are plenty of methods shareholders can use to watch stocks. Some of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite hedge fund managers can outpace the S&P 500 by a solid amount (see just how much).
Just as beneficial, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the stock market universe. As the old adage goes: there are lots of reasons for an upper level exec to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this method if shareholders understand where to look (learn more here).
Now, let's take a look at the recent action surrounding Valley National Bancorp (NYSE:VLY).
At Q1's end, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -18% from the previous quarter.
Since Valley National Bancorp (NYSE:VLY) has faced declining sentiment from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, logic holds that there exists a select few fund managers that slashed their positions entirely last quarter. Interestingly, Israel Englander's Millennium Management sold off the largest stake of the "upper crust" of funds we track, worth about $0.7 million in stock, and Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment Corp was right behind this move, as the fund said goodbye to about $0.3 million worth. These transactions are important to note, as total hedge fund interest fell by 2 funds last quarter.
Insider buying is best served when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the last 180-day time period, Valley National Bancorp (NYSE:VLY) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 2 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 Valley National Bancorp (NYSE:VLY). These stocks are National Penn Bancshares (NASDAQ:NPBC), Fulton Financial Corp (NASDAQ:FULT), Susquehanna Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:SUSQ), and Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE:WBS). This group of stocks are in the regional - northeast banks industry and their market caps resemble VLY's market cap.