Hedge Funds Are Selling Manulife Financial Corporation (USA) (MFC)

Manulife Financial Corporation (USA) (NYSE:MFC) shareholders have witnessed a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money of late.

To the average investor, there are dozens of indicators market participants can use to monitor Mr. Market. A couple of the most innovative are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best fund managers can outpace their index-focused peers by a very impressive margin (see just how much).

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Equally as key, positive insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the world of equities. As the old adage goes: there are lots of reasons for an executive to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this method if piggybackers know where to look (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a gander at the recent action regarding Manulife Financial Corporation (USA) (NYSE:MFC).

Hedge fund activity in Manulife Financial Corporation (USA) (NYSE:MFC)

At year’s end, a total of 8 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 0% from the third quarter. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings substantially.

According to our comprehensive database, Daniel Bubis’s Tetrem Capital Management had the largest position in Manulife Financial Corporation (USA) (NYSE:MFC), worth close to $64.6 million, comprising 1.9% of its total 13F portfolio. On Tetrem Capital Management’s heels is Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell of Arrowstreet Capital, with a $3.1 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that hold long positions include John Thiessen’s Vertex One Asset Management, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management and David Costen Haley’s HBK Investments.

Because Manulife Financial Corporation (USA) (NYSE:MFC) has witnessed declining sentiment from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, we can see that there exists a select few money managers that decided to sell off their full holdings last quarter. At the top of the heap, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management dumped the biggest position of the 450+ funds we watch, valued at an estimated $7.8 million in stock.. D. E. Shaw’s fund, D E Shaw, also dropped its stock, about $0.3 million worth. These transactions are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Manulife Financial Corporation (USA) (NYSE:MFC)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is most useful when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the last 180-day time period, Manulife Financial Corporation (USA) (NYSE:MFC) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Manulife Financial Corporation (USA) (NYSE:MFC). These stocks are Sun Life Financial Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SLF), Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET), Prudential Public Limited Company (ADR) (NYSE:PUK), ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING), and Prudential Financial Inc (NYSE:PRU). This group of stocks are the members of the life insurance industry and their market caps are closest to MFC’s market cap.