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Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB)? – Audience Inc (NASDAQ:ADNC), Exar Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAR)

Is Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB) a buy, sell, or hold? Money managers are getting more optimistic. The number of long hedge fund bets rose by 2 lately.

Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB)

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit, there are many methods shareholders can use to track Mr. Market. Some of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite fund managers can trounce the broader indices by a very impressive amount (see just how much).

Just as beneficial, positive insider trading activity is another way to parse down the stock market universe. Obviously, there are plenty of motivations for a corporate insider to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if shareholders understand what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, it’s important to take a gander at the recent action encompassing Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB).

How have hedgies been trading Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB)?

At year’s end, a total of 13 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 18% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes considerably.

Of the funds we track, Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, holds the largest position in Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB). Royce & Associates has a $5 million position in the stock, comprising 0% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by AQR Capital Management, managed by Cliff Asness, which held a $4 million position; 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedgies with similar optimism include Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw and Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management.

Now, specific money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Gotham Asset Management, managed by Joel Greenblatt, created the largest position in Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB). Gotham Asset Management had 1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Mike Vranos’s Ellington also initiated a $0 million position during the quarter. The only other fund with a brand new PLAB position is John Burbank’s Passport Capital.

What have insiders been doing with Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB)?

Bullish insider trading is at its handiest when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the last six-month time frame, Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 5 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

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

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
ParkerVision, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRKR) 3 0 1
Audience Inc (NASDAQ:ADNC) 6 2 5
Applied Micro Circuits Corporation (NASDAQ:AMCC) 7 4 1
Exar Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAR) 10 0 6
Volterra Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:VLTR) 12 0 3

With the results shown by the aforementioned tactics, retail investors must always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB) is an important part of this process.