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C.R. Bard, Inc. (BCR): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

Is C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR) worth your attention right now? Investors who are in the know are getting less bullish. The number of long hedge fund positions stayed the same which is a slightly negative development in our experience

In the eyes of most shareholders, hedge funds are seen as unimportant, outdated financial vehicles of years past. While there are greater than 8000 funds trading at the moment, we at Insider Monkey hone in on the moguls of this club, close to 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group oversees most of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by keeping an eye on their best equity investments, we have deciphered a number of investment strategies that have historically outstripped the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per annum for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outclassed the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (see the details here).

C.R. Bard, Inc.Just as integral, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the marketplace. There are a variety of reasons for a corporate insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Several academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if investors know where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, it’s important to take a look at the latest action encompassing C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR).

What does the smart money think about C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 27 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from the first quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes meaningfully.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Donald Yacktman’s Yacktman Asset Management had the biggest position in C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR), worth close to $807.5 million, comprising 4.1% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is ValueAct Capital, managed by Jeffrey Ubben, which held a $364.5 million position; 4.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other hedgies that hold long positions include David Blood and Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies and Thomas Steyer’s Farallon Capital.

Because C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR) has experienced declining sentiment from the smart money, we can see that there is a sect of money managers that elected to cut their positions entirely heading into Q2. Intriguingly, Arthur B Cohen and Joseph Healey’s Healthcor Management LP dropped the biggest stake of the “upper crust” of funds we watch, valued at close to $171 million in stock., and Steven Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors was right behind this move, as the fund cut about $29.3 million worth. These moves are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

What have insiders been doing with C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR)?

Bullish insider trading is best served when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest half-year time period, C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 12 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR). These stocks are Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE:BDX), Mindray Medical International Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:MR), The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO), DENTSPLY International Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY), and CareFusion Corporation (NYSE:CFN). This group of stocks are the members of the medical instruments & supplies industry and their market caps match BCR’s market cap.