The Walt Disney Company (DIS): Key Data Screaming ‘Sell, Sell, Sell’

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The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) investors should pay attention to a decrease in hedge fund sentiment lately.

At the moment, there are dozens of metrics market participants can use to analyze their holdings. A pair of the best are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best fund managers can outclass the S&P 500 by a superb margin (see just how much).

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)

Just as key, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the financial markets. As the old adage goes: there are many incentives for an executive to drop shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if investors understand where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a look at the recent action encompassing The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS).

Hedge fund activity in The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)

In preparation for this year, a total of 47 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -10% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes meaningfully.

Of the funds we track, Mason Hawkins’s Southeastern Asset Management had the biggest position in The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), worth close to $907 million, comprising 4% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Fisher Asset Management, managed by Ken Fisher, which held a $416.2 million position; 1.2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Other hedge funds that are bullish include Chris Hohn’s Childrens Investment Fund, John Armitage’s Egerton Capital Limited and Stephen Mandel’s Lone Pine Capital.

Seeing as The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has experienced falling interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, logic holds that there was a specific group of hedgies that elected to cut their positions entirely in Q4. Interestingly, Lee Ainslie’s Maverick Capital said goodbye to the biggest position of the 450+ funds we watch, worth close to $101.2 million in stock., and Michael Karsch of Karsch Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $49.1 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest fell by 5 funds in Q4.

What have insiders been doing with The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time period, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 6 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS). These stocks are Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:LYV), Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA), The Madison Square Garden Co (NASDAQ:MSG), Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX), and News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA). This group of stocks belong to the entertainment – diversified industry and their market caps match DIS’s market cap.

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