ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (ING): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

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Is ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING) a buy, sell, or hold? The best stock pickers are in a pessimistic mood. The number of bullish hedge fund bets fell by 1 lately.

To most investors, hedge funds are perceived as worthless, outdated financial tools of years past. While there are over 8000 funds with their doors open today, we choose to focus on the masters of this group, close to 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group oversees most of the hedge fund industry’s total asset base, and by paying attention to their best equity investments, we have determined a number of investment strategies that have historically outstripped the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have topped the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (see the details here).

ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING)Equally as beneficial, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the stock market universe. Obviously, there are a number of stimuli for an insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if shareholders understand what to do (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a peek at the recent action regarding ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING).

What have hedge funds been doing with ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING)?

Heading into Q2, a total of 8 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -11% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings substantially.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, holds the largest position in ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING). Arrowstreet Capital has a $24.2 million position in the stock, comprising 0.2% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, which held a $12.6 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedgies that hold long positions include David Dreman’s Dreman Value Management, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and David Costen Haley’s HBK Investments.

Seeing as ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING) has faced a declination in interest from the smart money, it’s safe to say that there exists a select few hedgies who sold off their entire stakes at the end of the first quarter. At the top of the heap, Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors dropped the largest investment of all the hedgies we track, valued at an estimated $0.1 million in stock., and Matthew Hulsizer of PEAK6 Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $0.1 million worth. These moves are interesting, as total hedge fund interest fell by 1 funds at the end of the first quarter.

How are insiders trading ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING)?

Insider buying is particularly usable when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest 180-day time period, ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

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

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