Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Kraton Performance Polymers Inc (KRA)?

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Is Kraton Performance Polymers Inc (NYSE:KRA) a buy, sell, or hold? Hedge funds are becoming less confident. The number of bullish hedge fund positions were cut by 3 in recent months.

To the average investor, there are plenty of metrics shareholders can use to watch their holdings. A couple of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top money managers can outclass the market by a very impressive margin (see just how much).

Equally as integral, bullish insider trading activity is another way to break down the marketplace. Obviously, there are a number of motivations for an upper level exec to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Many academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this strategy if “monkeys” know where to look (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a glance at the recent action surrounding Kraton Performance Polymers Inc (NYSE:KRA).

What have hedge funds been doing with Kraton Performance Polymers Inc (NYSE:KRA)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -25% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably.

Kraton Performance Polymers Inc (NYSE:KRA)Of the funds we track, Thomas E. Claugus’s GMT Capital had the most valuable position in Kraton Performance Polymers Inc (NYSE:KRA), worth close to $80.1 million, accounting for 1.8% of its total 13F portfolio. On GMT Capital’s heels is Fine Capital Partners, managed by Debra Fine, which held a $29.7 million position; the fund has 2.9% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedge funds that are bullish include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, Michael M. Rothenberg and David Sackler’s Moab Capital Partners and Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management.

Due to the fact that Kraton Performance Polymers Inc (NYSE:KRA) has witnessed declining sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it’s easy to see that there is a sect of hedgies that slashed their positions entirely at the end of the first quarter. Interestingly, Zac Hirzel’s Hirzel Capital Management dropped the largest stake of the “upper crust” of funds we monitor, comprising an estimated $1.4 million in stock., and Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $1.3 million worth. These moves are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 3 funds at the end of the first quarter.

What have insiders been doing with Kraton Performance Polymers Inc (NYSE:KRA)?

Insider buying is at its handiest when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the last half-year time frame, Kraton Performance Polymers Inc (NYSE:KRA) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 3 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Kraton Performance Polymers Inc (NYSE:KRA). These stocks are Koppers Holdings Inc. (NYSE:KOP), WD-40 Company (NASDAQ:WDFC), Flotek Industries Inc (NYSE:FTK), Quaker Chemical Corp (NYSE:KWR), and OM Group, Inc. (NYSE:OMG). This group of stocks are in the specialty chemicals industry and their market caps resemble KRA’s market cap.

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