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Here is What Hedge Funds Think About Weight Watchers International, Inc. (WTW)

Should Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW) investors track the following data?

To the average investor, there are plenty of gauges market participants can use to watch their holdings. Some of the best 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 best fund managers can outperform the S&P 500 by a healthy margin (see just how much).

Just as necessary, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to look at the financial markets. Obviously, there are plenty of reasons for an upper level exec to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if “monkeys” know what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to discuss the latest info surrounding Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW).

How have hedgies been trading Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW)?

At Q2’s end, a total of 14 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 56% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings substantially.

Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW)Out of the hedge funds we follow, Clifton S. Robbins’s Blue Harbour Group had the largest position in Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW), worth close to $30.6 million, comprising 2.3% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Third Avenue Management, managed by Martin Whitman, which held a $16.6 million position; the fund has 0.3% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers with similar optimism include Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management, Brian Ashford-Russell and Tim Woolley’s Polar Capital and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

As aggregate interest spiked, certain money managers were breaking ground themselves. Blue Harbour Group, managed by Clifton S. Robbins, assembled the most outsized position in Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW). Blue Harbour Group had 30.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Martin Whitman’s Third Avenue Management also initiated a $16.6 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new WTW positions are Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management, Brian Ashford-Russell and Tim Woolley’s Polar Capital, and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

Insider trading activity in Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW)

Legal insider trading, particularly when it’s bullish, is at its handiest when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the last six-month time frame, Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We’ll also take a look at the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW). These stocks are Regis Corporation (NYSE:RGS), Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA), Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI), VCA Antech Inc (NASDAQ:WOOF), and Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc (NYSE:BFAM). All of these stocks are in the personal services industry and their market caps resemble WTW’s market cap.

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