Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Exar Corporation (EXAR)? – Photronics, Inc. (PLAB), Volterra Semiconductor Corporation (VLTR)

Is Exar Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAR) worth your attention right now? Investors who are in the know are becoming less hopeful. The number of bullish hedge fund positions stayed the same which is a slightly negative development in our experience

To the average investor, there are dozens of metrics market participants can use to analyze the equity markets. Some of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best hedge fund managers can outpace the S&P 500 by a very impressive amount (see just how much).

Just as key, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the stock market universe. Obviously, there are a number of motivations for an executive to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would buy. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if investors know where to look (learn more here).

Now, it’s important to take a look at the recent action encompassing Exar Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAR).

How have hedgies been trading Exar Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAR)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 10 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from the third quarter. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings substantially.

Of the funds we track, Soros Fund Management, managed by George Soros, holds the biggest position in Exar Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAR). Soros Fund Management has a $57 million position in the stock, comprising 0.7% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, which held a $23 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other peers that hold long positions include Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, Seymour Sy Kaufman and Michael Stark’s Crosslink Capital and Peter A. Wright’s P.A.W. CAPITAL PARTNERS.

Judging by the fact that Exar Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAR) has faced a declination in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it’s easy to see that there was a specific group of hedgies that slashed their entire stakes at the end of the year. Interestingly, Jeffrey Smith’s Starboard Value LP sold off the largest position of the “upper crust” of funds we watch, worth about $3 million in stock.. Douglas W. Case’s fund, Advanced Investment Partners, also said goodbye to its stock, about $1 million worth. These bearish behaviors are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

What have insiders been doing with Exar Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAR)?

Insider buying is most useful when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last 180-day time period, Exar Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAR) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 6 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Exar Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAR). These stocks are Volterra Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:VLTR), Micrel, Incorporated (NASDAQ:MCRL), Amkor Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMKR), Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB), and Applied Micro Circuits Corporation (NASDAQ:AMCC). This group of stocks belong to the semiconductor – integrated circuits industry and their market caps match EXAR’s market cap.