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Are Hedge Funds Interested In Capital One Financial Corp. (COF)?

Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF) has maintained a favorable position in the smart money’s world. Shares of the financial services company are up near 14% in 2013, and it’s worth wondering if hedge funds are interested?

To the average investor, there are tons of methods market participants can use to track stocks. A pair of the best are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top fund managers can outpace their index-focused peers by a significant amount (see just how much).

Equally as useful, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to analyze the stock market universe. Just as you’d expect, there are plenty of reasons for an upper level exec to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if you understand where to look (learn more here).

Thus, we’re going to analyze the recent info surrounding Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF).

How have hedgies been trading Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF)?

At Q2’s end, a total of 59 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 2% from the first quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly.

Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF)Out of the hedge funds we follow, Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global had the largest position in Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF), worth close to $918.5 million, comprising 5.1% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Natixis Global Asset Management of Harris Associates, with a $611.6 million position; 1.3% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining hedgies that hold long positions include Thomas E. Claugus’s GMT Capital, Lee Ainslie’s Maverick Capital and Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors.

Now, certain bigger names have been driving this bullishness. Viking Global, managed by Andreas Halvorsen, created the largest position in Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF). Viking Global had 918.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Thomas E. Claugus’s GMT Capital also made a $159.8 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Lee Ainslie’s Maverick Capital, Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors, and Doug Silverman and Alexander Klabin’s Senator Investment Group.

How are insiders trading Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF)?

Bullish insider trading is particularly usable when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last six-month time period, Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF) has experienced 2 unique insiders buying, and 12 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We’ll also review the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF). These stocks are CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT), SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM), American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), ORIX Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:IX), and Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS). All of these stocks are in the credit services industry and their market caps are closest to COF’s market cap.

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