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Hedge Funds Are Selling Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW)

Since Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW) has experienced falling interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, we can see that there were a few funds that decided to sell off their positions entirely last quarter. Intriguingly, Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management said goodbye to the largest stake of all the hedgies followed by Insider Monkey, worth an estimated $65.9 million in call options, and Matthew Mark’s Jet Capital Investors was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $45.9 million worth of call options. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 7 funds last quarter.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Liberty Global PLC LiLAC Class C (NASDAQ:LILAK), Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO), eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), and Syngenta AG (ADR) (NYSE:SYT). This group of stocks’ market caps are closest to ITW’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
LILAK 40 406793 40
VLO 56 1842981 8
EBAY 83 3681749 -16
SYT 13 44954 -3

As you can see these stocks had an average of 48 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1.49 billion. That figure was $935 million in ITW’s case. eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) is the most popular stock in this table, while Syngenta AG (ADR) (NYSE:SYT) is the least popular one with only 13 bullish hedge fund positions. Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW) is not the least popular stock in this group, but hedge fund interest is still below average. This is a slightly negative signal and we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. In this regard EBAY might be a better candidate to consider a long position.

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