Is DENTSPLY International Inc. (XRAY) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

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DENTSPLY International Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY) was in 8 hedge funds' portfolio at the end of December. XRAY has experienced a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money recently. There were 12 hedge funds in our database with XRAY holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

DENTSPLY International Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY)To most stock holders, hedge funds are viewed as slow, old investment tools of yesteryear. While there are greater than 8000 funds trading today, we at Insider Monkey hone in on the leaders of this club, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group oversees the majority of all hedge funds' total capital, and by watching their top picks, we have unearthed a number of investment strategies that have historically outperformed the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat 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 outclassed the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Just as integral, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the stock market universe. Just as you'd expect, there are lots of motivations for a corporate insider to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if piggybackers understand what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, let's take a gander at the latest action surrounding DENTSPLY International Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY).

How are hedge funds trading DENTSPLY International Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY)?

At year's end, a total of 8 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -33% from the third quarter. With the smart money's capital changing hands, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably.

Of the funds we track, Select Equity Group, managed by Robert Joseph Caruso, holds the largest position in DENTSPLY International Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY). Select Equity Group has a $186.5 million position in the stock, comprising 2.9% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Adage Capital Management, managed by Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson, which held a $47.4 million position; the fund has 0.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that hold long positions include Mario Gabelli's GAMCO Investors, Israel Englander's Millennium Management and Steven Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors.

Seeing as DENTSPLY International Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY) has faced falling interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, we can see that there exists a select few hedgies that slashed their entire stakes last quarter. Intriguingly, Jacob Gottlieb's Visium Asset Management sold off the largest investment of all the hedgies we track, comprising about $11.1 million in stock.. Clint Carlson's fund, Carlson Capital, also cut its stock, about $10 million worth. These transactions are important to note, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 4 funds last quarter.

What have insiders been doing with DENTSPLY International Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is particularly usable when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time frame, DENTSPLY International Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 5 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let's also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to DENTSPLY International Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY). These stocks are Teleflex Incorporated (NYSE:TFX), C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR), Mindray Medical International Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:MR), CareFusion Corporation (NYSE:CFN), and The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO). This group of stocks are in the medical instruments & supplies industry and their market caps are similar to XRAY's market cap.

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