Here is What Hedge Funds Think About FLIR Systems, Inc. (FLIR)

FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR) was in 17 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. FLIR has experienced an increase in support from the world’s most elite money managers of late. There were 16 hedge funds in our database with FLIR positions at the end of the previous quarter.

In the financial world, there are tons of methods shareholders can use to watch publicly traded companies. Some of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top hedge fund managers can outclass the broader indices by a solid amount (see just how much).

FLIR Systems, Inc.Equally as important, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. As the old adage goes: there are a variety of stimuli for a corporate insider to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would buy. Many academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if investors understand where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to take a glance at the key action regarding FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR).

What does the smart money think about FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 17 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 6% from the first quarter. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, Wallace R. Weitz & Co., managed by Wallace Weitz, holds the biggest position in FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR). Wallace R. Weitz & Co. has a $66.7 million position in the stock, comprising 2.7% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, which held a $48.8 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedgies that are bullish include Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

Consequently, key money managers have been driving this bullishness. Stevens Capital Management, managed by Matthew Tewksbury, established the most outsized position in FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR). Stevens Capital Management had 3.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Ben Levine, Andrew Manuel and Stefan Renold’s LMR Partners also initiated a $1.1 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new FLIR investors: Glenn Russell Dubin’s Highbridge Capital Management and Robert Rodriguez and Steven Romick’s First Pacific Advisors LLC.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is best served when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last 180-day time frame, FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR). These stocks are Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc (NYSE:HII), Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:SPR), Hexcel Corporation (NYSE:HXL), Teledyne Technologies Incorporated (NYSE:TDY), and Triumph Group Inc (NYSE:TGI). All of these stocks are in the aerospace/defense products & services industry and their market caps match FLIR’s market cap.