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ICON plc – Ordinary Shares (ICLR): Hedge Fund and Insider Sentiment Unchanged, What Should You Do?

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ICON plc – Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:ICLR) investors: listen up.

To many market players, hedge funds are viewed as bloated, outdated investment tools of a forgotten age. Although there are over 8,000 hedge funds with their doors open today, this site focuses on the bigwigs of this club, around 525 funds. It is assumed that this group has its hands on most of all hedge funds’ total capital, and by monitoring their best stock picks, we’ve figured out a number of investment strategies that have historically beaten Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have beaten the S&P 500 index by 33 percentage points in 11 months (find the details here).

Just as necessary, bullish insider trading activity is another way to look at the marketplace. As the old adage goes: there are plenty of incentives for an executive to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Various academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this strategy if investors know what to do (learn more here).

Thus, we’re going to discuss the recent info for ICON plc – Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:ICLR).

How are hedge funds trading ICON plc – Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:ICLR)?

In preparation for the third quarter, a total of 20 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably.

ICON plc - Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:ICLR)When using filings from the hedgies we track, Donald Chiboucis’s Columbus Circle Investors had the largest position in ICON plc – Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:ICLR), worth close to $36 million, comprising 0.3% of its total 13F portfolio. On Columbus Circle Investors’s heels is Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson of Adage Capital Management, with a $27.5 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedge funds with similar optimism include D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, Drew Cupps’s Cupps Capital Management and Jacob Gottlieb’s Visium Asset Management.

Since ICON plc – Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:ICLR) has faced declining interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s safe to say that there were a few money managers that decided to sell off their full holdings in Q1. Interestingly, Nelson Obus’s Wynnefield Capital sold off the biggest investment of the “upper crust” of funds we monitor, totaling close to $25.1 million in stock. Jeffrey Vinik’s fund, Vinik Asset Management, also cut its stock, about $11 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

What do corporate executives and insiders think about ICON plc – Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:ICLR)?

Insider buying made by high-level executives is particularly usable when the company in question has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the latest half-year time frame, ICON plc – Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:ICLR) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We’ll also take a look at the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to ICON plc – Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:ICLR). These stocks are PerkinElmer, Inc. (NYSE:PKI), WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. (ADR) (NYSE:WX), PAREXEL International Corporation (NASDAQ:PRXL), Alere Inc (NYSE:ALR), and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:IRWD). This group of stocks are the members of the medical laboratories & research industry and their market caps resemble ICLR’s market cap.

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