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Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (AZN)?

What’s a smart AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) investor to do?

At the moment, there are dozens of gauges investors can use to track Mr. Market. A pair of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite fund managers can outclass the S&P 500 by a very impressive amount (see just how much).

Equally as necessary, positive insider trading sentiment is a second way to analyze the stock market universe. There are a number of motivations for a bullish insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Various academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if investors know where to look (learn more here).

Thus, we’re going to discuss the newest info surrounding AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN).

Hedge fund activity in AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN)

In preparation for the third quarter, a total of 17 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -15% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes substantially.

AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN)According to our 13F database, Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital had the largest position in AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN), worth close to $291.5 million, comprising 2.2% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, with a $162 million position; the fund has 0.4% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedge funds with similar optimism include James E. Flynn’s Deerfield Management, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

Judging by the fact that AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) has faced a fall in interest from the top-tier hedge fund industry, it’s safe to say that there were a few fund managers who sold off their entire stakes at the end of the second quarter. Intriguingly, Stephen DuBois’s Camber Capital Management sold off the biggest position of the “upper crust” of funds we watch, worth about $50 million in stock. Jeremy Green’s fund, Redmile Group, also cut its stock, about $12.6 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest dropped by 3 funds at the end of the second quarter.

Insider trading activity in AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN)

Legal insider trading, particularly when it’s bullish, is at its handiest when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time period, AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and zero 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 AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN). These stocks are Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK), Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY), AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV), and Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY). This group of stocks are the members of the drug manufacturers – major industry and their market caps are closest to AZN’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) 65 0 0
GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) 21 0 0
Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) 43 0 0
AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) 41 0 0
Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY) 38 0 0

Using the results demonstrated by our strategies, regular investors should always track hedge fund and insider trading activity, and AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) is an important part of this process.

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