To most traders, hedge funds are assumed to be slow, outdated investment tools of years past. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open today, we at Insider Monkey choose to focus on the moguls of this club, around 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group oversees most of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by monitoring their top equity investments, we have figured out a number of investment strategies that have historically outperformed Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have beaten the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (check out a sample of our picks).
Just as beneficial, bullish insider trading activity is another way to parse down the world of equities. Just as you’d expect, there are lots of reasons for an executive to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would buy. Various academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).
Consequently, it’s important to take a glance at the recent action surrounding Visa Inc (NYSE:V).
What does the smart money think about Visa Inc (NYSE:V)?
Heading into 2013, a total of 74 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 0% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes meaningfully.
According to our comprehensive database, John H. Scully’s SPO Advisory Corp had the biggest position in Visa Inc (NYSE:V), worth close to $752.1 million, comprising 11.8% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Fisher Asset Management, managed by Ken Fisher, which held a $735.7 million position; 2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedgies that hold long positions include Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global, Stephen Mandel’s Lone Pine Capital and Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management.
Seeing as Visa Inc (NYSE:V) has experienced falling interest from the smart money, we can see that there lies a certain “tier” of hedgies who sold off their positions entirely last quarter. At the top of the heap, Louis Navellier’s Navellier & Associates sold off the biggest investment of the 450+ funds we key on, worth close to $70.4 million in stock., and Richard Schimel of Diamondback Capital was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $21.2 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).
How have insiders been trading Visa Inc (NYSE:V)?
Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last 180-day time frame, Visa Inc (NYSE:V) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 10 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).
Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Visa Inc (NYSE:V). These stocks are Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK), Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE:FIS), Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISV), Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO), and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA). This group of stocks are in the business services industry and their market caps match V’s market cap.