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Hedge Funds Are Crazy About CIRCOR International, Inc. (NYSE:CIR) – Sun Hydraulics Corporation (NASDAQ:SNHY), Mueller Water Products, Inc. (NYSE:MWA)

CIRCOR International, Inc. (NYSE:CIR) was in 12 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. CIR has seen an increase in enthusiasm from smart money of late. There were 9 hedge funds in our database with CIR positions at the end of the previous quarter.

To the average investor, there are plenty of indicators market participants can use to watch publicly traded companies. Some of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top money managers can beat the market by a healthy amount (see just how much).

CIRCOR International, Inc. (NYSE:CIR)

Just as key, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to break down the stock market universe. As the old adage goes: there are a variety of reasons for a corporate 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 method if investors understand where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, it’s important to take a look at the latest action surrounding CIRCOR International, Inc. (NYSE:CIR).

How are hedge funds trading CIRCOR International, Inc. (NYSE:CIR)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 12 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 33% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings significantly.

Of the funds we track, GAMCO Investors, managed by Mario Gabelli, holds the largest position in CIRCOR International, Inc. (NYSE:CIR). GAMCO Investors has a $80 million position in the stock, comprising 0.6% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Pzena Investment Management, managed by Richard S. Pzena, which held a $23 million position; the fund has 0.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers with similar optimism include Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, specific money managers have been driving this bullishness. Gotham Asset Management, managed by Joel Greenblatt, initiated the most outsized position in CIRCOR International, Inc. (NYSE:CIR). Gotham Asset Management had 2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management also made a $1 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Neil Chriss’s Hutchin Hill Capital and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

How are insiders trading CIRCOR International, Inc. (NYSE:CIR)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is most useful when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest 180-day time period, CIRCOR International, Inc. (NYSE:CIR) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 5 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to CIRCOR International, Inc. (NYSE:CIR). These stocks are EnPro Industries, Inc. (NYSE:NPO), Mueller Water Products, Inc. (NYSE:MWA), Sun Hydraulics Corporation (NASDAQ:SNHY), Standex Int’l Corp. (NYSE:SXI), and H&E Equipment Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:HEES). This group of stocks are in the industrial equipment & components industry and their market caps are similar to CIR’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
EnPro Industries, Inc. (NYSE:NPO) 7 4 2
Mueller Water Products, Inc. (NYSE:MWA) 26 1 1
Sun Hydraulics Corporation (NASDAQ:SNHY) 4 0 3
Standex Int’l Corp. (NYSE:SXI) 8 0 3
H&E Equipment Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:HEES) 9 0 2

With the results exhibited by the aforementioned time-tested strategies, everyday investors should always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and CIRCOR International, Inc. (NYSE:CIR) applies perfectly to this mantra.