Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS): Insiders Are Dumping, Should You?

Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS) was in 21 hedge funds' portfolio at the end of December. NTRS has seen a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money recently. There were 22 hedge funds in our database with NTRS positions at the end of the previous quarter.

In the financial world, there are tons of metrics investors can use to analyze Mr. Market. Some of the best are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best investment managers can outclass the S&P 500 by a superb margin (see just how much).

Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS)

Just as beneficial, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to parse down the financial markets. Obviously, there are a variety of stimuli for an upper level exec to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if piggybackers understand where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it's important to take a glance at the recent action regarding Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS).

What have hedge funds been doing with Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS)?

At year's end, a total of 21 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -5% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money's capital changing hands, there exists an "upper tier" of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes meaningfully.

Of the funds we track, Generation Investment Management, managed by David Blood and Al Gore, holds the largest position in Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS). Generation Investment Management has a $122 million position in the stock, comprising 2.9% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group, with a $98 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies with similar optimism include Mario Gabelli's GAMCO Investors, John W. Rogers's Ariel Investments and Donald Yacktman's Yacktman Asset Management.

Due to the fact that Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS) has faced declining sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it's safe to say that there exists a select few fund managers who sold off their positions entirely last quarter. Interestingly, Russell Hawkins's Hawkins Capital dropped the largest investment of the "upper crust" of funds we key on, totaling close to $5 million in stock.. David Costen Haley's fund, HBK Investments, also dumped its stock, about $1 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest fell by 1 funds last quarter.

Insider trading activity in Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS)

Bullish insider trading is best served when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last 180-day time frame, Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 9 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the results shown by the aforementioned studies, retail investors must always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS) shareholders fit into this picture quite nicely.

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