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Visa Inc (V): Insiders Aren’t Crazy About It

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Is Visa Inc (NYSE:V) a buy right now? Prominent investors are buying. The number of bullish hedge fund bets improved by 7 lately.

To the average investor, there are a multitude of metrics market participants can use to monitor the equity markets. A couple of the best are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top money managers can outpace the broader indices by a significant margin (see just how much).

Visa Inc (NYSE:V)

Just as key, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the investments you’re interested in. Obviously, there are plenty of reasons for a corporate insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this method if piggybackers know what to do (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, it’s important to take a glance at the latest action surrounding Visa Inc (NYSE:V).

What have hedge funds been doing with Visa Inc (NYSE:V)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 88 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 9% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes significantly.

When looking at the hedgies we track, John H. Scully’s SPO Advisory Corp had the most valuable position in Visa Inc (NYSE:V), worth close to $842.7 million, accounting for 11.4% of its total 13F portfolio. On SPO Advisory Corp’s heels is Fisher Asset Management, managed by Ken Fisher, which held a $583.4 million position; 1.6% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining hedgies with similar optimism include Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global, Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management and Stephen Mandel’s Lone Pine Capital.

As one would reasonably expect, key hedge funds have been driving this bullishness. Antipodean Advisors, managed by Eric Chen, initiated the most outsized position in Visa Inc (NYSE:V). Antipodean Advisors had 29.9 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Christopher Lord’s Criterion Capital also initiated a $22.1 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new V investors: Louis Bacon’s Moore Global Investments, Lee Hobson’s Highside Capital Management, and Greg Poole’s Echo Street Capital Management.

Insider trading activity in Visa Inc (NYSE:V)

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest half-year time period, Visa Inc (NYSE:V) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 10 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Visa Inc (NYSE:V). These stocks are Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK), Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE:FIS), Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISV), Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO), and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA). This group of stocks are the members of the business services industry and their market caps resemble V’s market cap.

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