Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Abbott Laboratories (ABT)?

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Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) has seen a decrease in hedge fund sentiment recently.

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit, there are tons of metrics investors can use to monitor Mr. Market. A pair of the best are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite investment managers can beat the S&P 500 by a solid amount (see just how much).

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)

Equally as beneficial, positive insider trading activity is another way to parse down the stock market universe. Just as you’d expect, there are a variety of motivations for a corporate insider to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if piggybackers know where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a peek at the key action regarding Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT).

How are hedge funds trading Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 31 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -43% from the first quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, Southeastern Asset Management, managed by Mason Hawkins, holds the biggest position in Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT). Southeastern Asset Management has a $514.1 million position in the stock, comprising 2.3% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Richard S. Pzena of Pzena Investment Management, with a $156.6 million position; 1.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedgies that are bullish include Ric Dillon’s Diamond Hill Capital, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management and Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management.

Judging by the fact that Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) has experienced declining sentiment from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, logic holds that there is a sect of fund managers that decided to sell off their full holdings in Q1. It’s worth mentioning that Mason Hawkins’s Southeastern Asset Management dumped the biggest position of the 450+ funds we watch, valued at an estimated $244.9 million in stock.. Arthur B Cohen and Joseph Healey’s fund, Healthcor Management LP, also sold off its stock, about $65.5 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest fell by 23 funds in Q1.

How have insiders been trading Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the latest six-month time period, Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) has seen 1 unique insiders buying, and 10 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT). These stocks are St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ), Zimmer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ZMH), Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG), Stryker Corporation (NYSE:SYK), and Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT). This group of stocks are the members of the medical appliances & equipment industry and their market caps are closest to ABT’s market cap.

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