Is Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) going to take off soon? The smart money is in a bearish mood. The number of bullish hedge fund positions went down by 2 lately.
In the financial world, there are plenty of methods shareholders can use to monitor publicly traded companies. A pair of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite fund managers can trounce the S&P 500 by a significant amount (see just how much).
Just as beneficial, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the financial markets. Just as you'd expect, there are a number of stimuli for an executive to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if shareholders know where to look (learn more here).
With these "truths" under our belt, let's take a gander at the latest action surrounding Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS).
Heading into 2013, a total of 37 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -5% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds' positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an "upper tier" of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly.
According to our comprehensive database, Viking Global, managed by Andreas Halvorsen, holds the largest position in Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS). Viking Global has a $273 million billion position in the stock, comprising 1.9% of its 13F portfolio. On Viking Global's heels is Donald Chiboucis of Columbus Circle Investors, with a $109 million position; the fund has 0.9% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other peers that hold long positions include Lee Ainslie's Maverick Capital, Kerr Neilson's Platinum Asset Management and Ken Griffin's Citadel Investment Group.
Judging by the fact that Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) has faced falling interest from the smart money, it's safe to say that there were a few hedge funds that decided to sell off their full holdings heading into 2013. Interestingly, Paul ReederáandáEdward Shapiro's PAR Capital Management sold off the biggest position of all the hedgies we monitor, valued at about $42 million in stock., and David Keidan of Buckingham Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $23 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest fell by 2 funds heading into 2013.
Insider trading activity, especially when it's bullish, is at its handiest when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time frame, Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 4 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).
With the returns exhibited by our studies, everyday investors should always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) shareholders fit into this picture quite nicely.
Insider Monkey's small-cap strategy returned 29.2% between September 2012 and February 2013 versus 8.7% for the S&P 500 index. Try it now by clicking the link above.