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This Metric Says You Are Smart to Buy Weingarten Realty Investors (WRI), Taubman Centers, Inc. (TCO), Regency Centers Corp (REG)

Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI) was in 12 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. WRI has seen an increase in support from the world’s most elite money managers of late. There were 10 hedge funds in our database with WRI holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI)If you’d ask most investors, hedge funds are assumed to be worthless, old investment vehicles of the past. While there are greater than 8000 funds trading today, we look at the top tier of this group, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group oversees the lion’s share of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by keeping an eye on their highest performing stock picks, we have revealed a few investment strategies that have historically outpaced the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year 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 outpaced the S&P 500 index by 25 percentage points in 6.5 month (explore the details and some picks here).

Equally as important, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the financial markets. There are plenty of reasons for an upper level exec to drop shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if investors know what to do (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a look at the key action regarding Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI).

How are hedge funds trading Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 12 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 20% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes significantly.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Dreman Value Management, managed by David Dreman, holds the biggest position in Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI). Dreman Value Management has a $4 million position in the stock, comprising 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Fisher Asset Management, managed by Ken Fisher, which held a $3 million position; the fund has 0% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedgies with similar optimism include Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

Consequently, some big names were breaking ground themselves. Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, established the most outsized position in Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI). Millennium Management had 2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors also made a $0 million investment in the stock during the quarter.

Insider trading activity in Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI)

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest 180-day time period, Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI). These stocks are Taubman Centers, Inc. (NYSE:TCO), Regency Centers Corp (NYSE:REG), Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (NYSE:SKT), Hospitality Properties Trust (NYSE:HPT), and CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (NYSE:CBL). This group of stocks are the members of the reit – retail industry and their market caps match WRI’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Taubman Centers, Inc. (NYSE:TCO) 14 2 4
Regency Centers Corp (NYSE:REG) 10 0 2
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (NYSE:SKT) 9 1 7
Hospitality Properties Trust (NYSE:HPT) 9 1 1
CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (NYSE:CBL) 9 3 3

With the returns exhibited by our strategies, everyday investors should always monitor hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI) shareholders fit into this picture quite nicely.

Click here to learn more about Insider Monkey’s Hedge Fund Newsletter

Insider Monkey’s small-cap strategy returned 37% between September 2012 and March 2013 versus 12.9% for the S&P 500 index. Try it now by clicking the link above.

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