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Waste Management, Inc. (WM): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

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Is Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM) worth your attention right now? Prominent investors are in a bullish mood. The number of long hedge fund bets improved by 1 in recent months.

In the financial world, there are dozens of metrics investors can use to watch Mr. Market. A duo of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top money managers can outperform their index-focused peers by a superb margin (see just how much).

Waste Management, Inc.

Equally as integral, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to break down the marketplace. As the old adage goes: there are a variety of stimuli for an upper level exec to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, let’s take a peek at the latest action regarding Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM).

How have hedgies been trading Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM)?

In preparation for this quarter, a total of 15 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 7% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings meaningfully.

According to our comprehensive database, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, managed by Michael Larson, holds the biggest position in Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM). Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust has a $730.6 million position in the stock, comprising 4% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is OZ Management, managed by Daniel S. Och, which held a $116.5 million call position; the fund has 0.4% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedgies with similar optimism include Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors, Andrew Sandler’s Sandler Capital Management and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.

As aggregate interest increased, key hedge funds have been driving this bullishness. Sandler Capital Management, managed by Andrew Sandler, initiated the most valuable position in Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM). Sandler Capital Management had 15.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Louis Bacon’s Moore Global Investments also made a $3.9 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors, Neil Chriss’s Hutchin Hill Capital, and Glenn Russell Dubin’s Highbridge Capital Management.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is particularly usable when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time period, Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 15 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM). These stocks are Clean Harbors Inc (NYSE:CLH), Waste Connections, Inc. (NYSE:WCN), Veolia Environnement SA (ADR) (NYSE:VE), Stericycle Inc (NASDAQ:SRCL), and Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE:RSG). All of these stocks are in the waste management industry and their market caps are similar to WM’s market cap.

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