Are Dark Clouds Ahead for Nature’s Sunshine Prod. (NATR)?

Judging by the fact that Nature’s Sunshine Prod. (NASDAQ:NATR) has faced falling interest from the smart money, it’s safe to say that there lies a certain “tier” of fund managers that slashed their positions entirely heading into Q4. Intriguingly, John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors cut the largest position of the “upper crust” of funds followed by Insider Monkey, worth about $0.2 million in stock.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Nature’s Sunshine Prod. (NASDAQ:NATR) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Foamix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (NASDAQ:FOMX), Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (NASDAQ:EGLE), PICO Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PICO), and Ducommun Incorporated (NYSE:DCO). This group of stocks’ market values are similar to NATR’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
FOMX 18 49713 -2
EGLE 5 160970 1
PICO 11 34940 1
DCO 12 14462 3

As you can see these stocks had an average of 11.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $65 million. That figure was $80 million in NATR’s case. Foamix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (NASDAQ:FOMX) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (NASDAQ:EGLE) is the least popular one with only 5 bullish hedge fund positions. Nature’s Sunshine Prod. (NASDAQ:NATR) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average, though the investors that do like it, like it a lot. This is a slightly negative signal nonetheless, and we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. In this regard FOMX might be a better candidate to consider for a long position.