Is Hillshire Brands Co (NYSE:HSH) worth your attention right now? The best stock pickers are getting more bullish. The number of bullish hedge fund positions improved by 10 lately.
According to most stock holders, hedge funds are viewed as worthless, outdated investment tools of yesteryear. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation today, we at Insider Monkey choose to focus on the top tier of this club, close to 450 funds. It is estimated that this group oversees most of the smart money’s total asset base, and by tracking their top picks, we have deciphered a few investment strategies that have historically outpaced the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per annum for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have topped the S&P 500 index by 25 percentage points in 6.5 month (check out a sample of our picks).
Equally as beneficial, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to break down the financial markets. Obviously, there are a variety of motivations for an upper level exec to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would buy. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if investors understand where to look (learn more here).
With all of this in mind, let’s take a glance at the recent action regarding Hillshire Brands Co (NYSE:HSH).
What does the smart money think about Hillshire Brands Co (NYSE:HSH)?
At year’s end, a total of 33 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 43% from the third quarter. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly.
Of the funds we track, Paulson & Co, managed by John Paulson, holds the largest position in Hillshire Brands Co (NYSE:HSH). Paulson & Co has a $142 million position in the stock, comprising 0.9% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by OZ Management, managed by Daniel S. Och, which held a $121 million position; the fund has 0.5% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedge funds that hold long positions include Richard Perry’s Perry Capital, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Clint Carlson’s Carlson Capital.
Now, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. Healthcor Management LP, managed by Arthur B Cohen and Joseph Healey, initiated the most outsized position in Hillshire Brands Co (NYSE:HSH). Healthcor Management LP had 37 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Robert Pohly’s Samlyn Capital also initiated a $29 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new HSH investors: Malcolm Fairbairn’s Ascend Capital, Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital, and Anand Parekh’s Alyeska Investment Group.
What have insiders been doing with Hillshire Brands Co (NYSE:HSH)?
Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is at its handiest when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the last six-month time period, Hillshire Brands Co (NYSE:HSH) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).
With the returns exhibited by Insider Monkey’s studies, retail investors should always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Hillshire Brands Co (NYSE:HSH) is no exception.
Insider Monkey’s small-cap strategy returned 29.2% between September 2012 and February 2013 versus 8.7% for the S&P 500 index. Try it now by clicking the link above.