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Is Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (CQB) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

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Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE:CQB) was in 13 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. CQB has experienced a decrease in hedge fund interest of late. There were 18 hedge funds in our database with CQB positions at the end of the previous quarter.

Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE:CQB)

To the average investor, there are dozens of gauges investors can use to monitor the equity markets. A duo of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top investment managers can outclass the market by a very impressive margin (see just how much).

Equally as beneficial, positive insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. There are a variety of incentives for an upper level exec to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would buy. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if piggybackers know where to look (learn more here).

Consequently, it’s important to take a gander at the recent action surrounding Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE:CQB).

Hedge fund activity in Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE:CQB)

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 13 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -28% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly.

Of the funds we track, Pentwater Capital Management, managed by Matthew Halbower, holds the most valuable position in Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE:CQB). Pentwater Capital Management has a $23.4 million position in the stock, comprising 1% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Shah Capital Management, managed by Himanshu H. Shah, which held a $12.7 million position; 14.4% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other hedge funds with similar optimism include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, Martin Whitman’s Third Avenue Management and Nelson Obus’s Wynnefield Capital.

Since Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE:CQB) has experienced bearish sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, logic holds that there exists a select few money managers that decided to sell off their full holdings heading into Q2. At the top of the heap, Thomas Steyer’s Farallon Capital sold off the biggest position of all the hedgies we watch, totaling an estimated $6.2 million in stock., and Malcolm Fairbairn of Ascend Capital was right behind this move, as the fund cut about $4.8 million worth. These moves are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 5 funds heading into Q2.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE:CQB)?

Insider buying is particularly usable when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the latest half-year time frame, Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE:CQB) has seen 1 unique insiders buying, and 4 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE:CQB). These stocks are Limoneira Company (NASDAQ:LMNR), Cresud S.A.C.I.F. y A. (ADR) (NASDAQ:CRESY), Calavo Growers, Inc. (NASDAQ:CVGW), and Alico, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALCO). This group of stocks are in the farm products industry and their market caps match CQB’s market cap.

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