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This Metric Says You Are Smart to Sell The Washington Post Company (WPO)

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The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO) was in 19 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of March. WPO shareholders have witnessed a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds of late. There were 21 hedge funds in our database with WPO positions at the end of the previous quarter.

Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO)

According to most market participants, hedge funds are seen as unimportant, old investment tools of years past. While there are over 8000 funds trading at the moment, we at Insider Monkey choose to focus on the moguls of this club, around 450 funds. It is estimated that this group has its hands on the majority of all hedge funds’ total capital, and by paying attention to their top picks, we have formulated a few investment strategies that have historically beaten the market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outclassed the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (see the details here).

Equally as integral, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to parse down the stock market universe. There are lots of motivations for an executive to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this method if investors understand what to do (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, it’s important to take a peek at the latest action regarding The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO).

What does the smart money think about The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO)?

Heading into Q2, a total of 19 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -10% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably.

According to our comprehensive database, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway had the most valuable position in The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO), worth close to $772.3 million, accounting for 0.9% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Mason Hawkins of Southeastern Asset Management, with a $245.1 million position; 1.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other hedge funds with similar optimism include Charles de Vaulx’s International Value Advisers, John W. Rogers’s Ariel Investments and Tom Russo’s Gardner Russo & Gardner.

Seeing as The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO) has faced bearish sentiment from hedge fund managers, we can see that there lies a certain “tier” of money managers who were dropping their positions entirely at the end of the first quarter. Intriguingly, Matthew Tewksbury’s Stevens Capital Management dumped the largest position of the “upper crust” of funds we key on, worth close to $1.2 million in stock., and Abby Flamholz and Yehuda Blinder of ADAR Investment Management was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $0.7 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest dropped by 2 funds at the end of the first quarter.

How have insiders been trading The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is most useful when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time period, The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO). These stocks are TAL Education Group (ADR) (NYSE:XRS), K12 Inc. (NYSE:LRN), Grand Canyon Education Inc (NASDAQ:LOPE), Apollo Group Inc (NASDAQ:APOL), and DeVry Inc. (NYSE:DV). This group of stocks are the members of the education & training services industry and their market caps match WPO’s market cap.

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