Are Top Investors Right to be Bearish on Prudential Financial Inc (PRU)?

Since Prudential Financial Inc (NYSE:PRU) has faced falling interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, logic holds that there lies a certain “tier” of fund managers that elected to cut their entire stakes heading into Q4. Intriguingly, Martin D. Sass’ MD Sass sold off the biggest position of all the hedgies followed by Insider Monkey, totaling about $25.5 million in call options, and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $17.3 million worth of shares. These moves are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest dropped by 7 funds heading into Q4.

Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Prudential Financial Inc (NYSE:PRU). These stocks are Liberty Global PLC LiLAC Class C (NASDAQ:LILAK), Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD), Wipro Limited (ADR) (NYSE:WIT), and Liberty Global PLC LiLAC Class A (NASDAQ:LILA). This group of stocks’ market values match PRU’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
LILAK 43 941029 -19
APD 56 4335573 0
WIT 8 104570 2
LILA 39 350427 -12

As you can see these stocks had an average of 36.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1.43 billion. That figure was $520 million in PRU’s case. Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Wipro Limited (ADR) (NYSE:WIT) is the least popular one with only 8 bullish hedge fund positions. Prudential Financial Inc (NYSE:PRU) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. This is a slightly negative signal and we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. In this regard APD might be a better candidate to consider a long position in.

Disclosure: None