Google Inc (GOOG): The Key Data You Might’ve Overlooked

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) was in 126 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. GOOG investors should be aware of a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds of late. There were 143 hedge funds in our database with GOOG positions at the end of the previous quarter.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)According to most stock holders, hedge funds are assumed to be slow, old financial vehicles of yesteryear. While there are more than 8000 funds with their doors open at the moment, we at Insider Monkey choose to focus on the aristocrats of this club, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group oversees the majority of all hedge funds’ total asset base, and by paying attention to their top equity investments, we have brought to light a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed the market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced 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 outclassed the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (explore the details and some picks here).

Just as integral, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the stock market universe. Obviously, there are a variety of stimuli for an insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a glance at the recent action regarding Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).

What does the smart money think about Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 126 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -12% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly.

Of the funds we track, Lone Pine Capital, managed by Stephen Mandel, holds the biggest position in Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). Lone Pine Capital has a $1.0986 billion position in the stock, comprising 6.9% of its 13F portfolio. On Lone Pine Capital’s heels is Paul Ruddockáand Steve Heinz of Lansdowne Partners, with a $607.4 million position; the fund has 10.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedge funds that are bullish include William B. Gray’s Orbis Investment Management, and Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management.

Due to the fact that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has witnessed bearish sentiment from the smart money, we can see that there is a sect of money managers that elected to cut their entire stakes at the end of the year. It’s worth mentioning that Chase Coleman and Feroz Dewan’s Tiger Global Management LLC sold off the biggest investment of all the hedgies we watch, totaling close to $526.6 million in stock.. Panayotis æTakisÆ Sparaggis’s fund, Alkeon Capital Management, also dropped its stock, about $353.2 million worth. These moves are important to note, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 17 funds at the end of the year.

What have insiders been doing with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is most useful when the company in question has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the last 180-day time frame, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 10 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). These stocks are Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX), LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO),, Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). All of these stocks are in the internet information providers industry and their market caps are similar to GOOG’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX) 18 0 0
LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) 35 0 13
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) 60 0 2, Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) 31 0 0
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) 67 0 9

With the results exhibited by our time-tested strategies, retail investors must always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is no exception.

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