WSFS Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WSFS) was in 9 hedge funds' portfolio at the end of December. WSFS has experienced stagnant support from the world's most elite money managers recently. There were 9 hedge funds in our database with WSFS positions at the end of the previous quarter.
To most shareholders, hedge funds are assumed to be underperforming, outdated financial tools of years past. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open at present, we at Insider Monkey look at the upper echelon of this club, around 450 funds. It is estimated that this group has its hands on the majority of the smart money's total capital, and by tracking their best picks, we have identified a few investment strategies that have historically outpaced the market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a 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 trumped the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (see the details here).
Equally as important, positive insider trading activity is another way to parse down the world of equities. Just as you'd expect, there are plenty of reasons for a corporate insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this method if "monkeys" understand what to do (learn more here).
With these "truths" under our belt, we're going to take a glance at the latest action surrounding WSFS Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WSFS).
Heading into 2013, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money's capital changing hands, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes meaningfully.
According to our comprehensive database, Stadium Capital Management, managed by Alexander Medina Seaver, holds the biggest position in WSFS Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WSFS). Stadium Capital Management has a $18 million position in the stock, comprising 4.3% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Richard S. Pzena of Pzena Investment Management, with a $15.1 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other peers that are bullish include Matthew Lindenbaum's Basswood Capital, Jim Simons's Renaissance Technologies and Ken Gray and Steve Walsh's Bryn Mawr Capital.
Bullish insider trading is best served when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time frame, WSFS Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WSFS) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 4 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 WSFS Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WSFS). These stocks are Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:SASR), Union First Market Bankshares Corp. (NASDAQ:UBSH), Stellarone Corp (NASDAQ:STEL), Virginia Commerce Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:VCBI), and TowneBank (NASDAQ:TOWN). This group of stocks belong to the regional - mid-atlantic banks industry and their market caps are closest to WSFS's market cap.