Hedge Funds Are Selling Heckmann Corporation (HEK): Clean Harbors Inc (CLH), US Ecology Inc. (ECOL)

Heckmann Corporation (NYSE:HEK) was in 9 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. HEK has seen a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds recently. There were 10 hedge funds in our database with HEK holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Heckmann Corporation (NYSE:HEK)To the average investor, there are a multitude of gauges market participants can use to watch their holdings. A duo of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top fund managers can outpace their index-focused peers by a very impressive amount (see just how much).

Equally as important, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the world of equities. There are plenty of motivations for an executive to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if shareholders understand what to do (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, it’s important to take a gander at the recent action regarding Heckmann Corporation (NYSE:HEK).

How are hedge funds trading Heckmann Corporation (NYSE:HEK)?

Heading into 2013, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -10% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings considerably.

Of the funds we track, Nelson Obus’s Wynnefield Capital had the most valuable position in Heckmann Corporation (NYSE:HEK), worth close to $10 million, comprising 3.4% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Jeffrey Gates of Gates Capital Management, with a $9 million position; 2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other peers that hold long positions include Leighton Welch’s Welch Capital Partners, Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates and Jacob Gottlieb’s Visium Asset Management.

Since Heckmann Corporation (NYSE:HEK) has witnessed declining sentiment from the smart money, logic holds that there was a specific group of funds who were dropping their full holdings last quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Chase Coleman and Feroz Dewan’s Tiger Global Management LLC dumped the largest position of all the hedgies we key on, totaling close to $2 million in stock., and J. Alan Reid, Jr. of Forward Management was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $0 million worth. These moves are important to note, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 1 funds last quarter.

How are insiders trading Heckmann Corporation (NYSE:HEK)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is most useful when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last half-year time period, Heckmann Corporation (NYSE:HEK) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Heckmann Corporation (NYSE:HEK). These stocks are Clean Harbors Inc (NYSE:CLH), US Ecology Inc. (NASDAQ:ECOL), Covanta Holding Corporation (NYSE:CVA), Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd (USA) (NYSE:BIN), and Darling International Inc. (NYSE:DAR). This group of stocks are the members of the waste management industry and their market caps are similar to HEK’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Clean Harbors Inc (NYSE:CLH) 15 0 7
US Ecology Inc. (NASDAQ:ECOL) 7 0 6
Covanta Holding Corporation (NYSE:CVA) 20 0 4
Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd (USA) (NYSE:BIN) 10 0 0
Darling International Inc. (NYSE:DAR) 14 0 1

With the returns demonstrated by the aforementioned research, retail investors must always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Heckmann Corporation (NYSE:HEK) is no exception.

Click here to learn why you should track hedge funds