Hedge Funds Are Buying NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP)

Is NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) a buy right now? The smart money is getting more bullish. The number of long hedge fund bets went up by 8 lately.

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit, there are plenty of methods market participants can use to watch the equity markets. A pair of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best hedge fund managers can outclass the broader indices by a significant margin (see just how much).

NetApp Inc.

Equally as integral, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the world of equities. As the old adage goes: there are lots of motivations for an insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would initiate a purchase. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if “monkeys” understand where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a look at the key action encompassing NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP).

How are hedge funds trading NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP)?

Heading into 2013, a total of 49 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 20% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings substantially.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Lee Ainslie’s Maverick Capital had the most valuable position in NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP), worth close to $264 million billion, comprising 3.9% of its total 13F portfolio. On Maverick Capital’s heels is Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group, with a $219 million position; 0.2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining hedge funds that hold long positions include Eric Bannasch’s Cadian Capital, Matt Sirovich and Jeremy Mindich’s Scopia Capital and George Soros’s Soros Fund Management.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds were leading the bulls’ herd. First Eagle Investment Management, managed by Jean-Marie Eveillard, assembled the most outsized position in NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP). First Eagle Investment Management had 53 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. also made a $40 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new NTAP investors: Jeffrey Altman’s Owl Creek Asset Management, Spencer M. Waxman’s Shannon River Fund Management, and Glenn Russell Dubin’s Highbridge Capital Management.

What have insiders been doing with NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP)?

Bullish insider trading is particularly usable when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the last six-month time frame, NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 4 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the results demonstrated by our time-tested strategies, everyday investors should always watch hedge fund and insider trading activity, and NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) is no exception.

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