Itron, Inc. (ITRI): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

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Is it smart to be bullish on Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI)?

In the financial world, there are plenty of methods investors can use to monitor the equity markets. A couple of the best are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best fund managers can beat their index-focused peers by a significant margin (see just how much).

Just as useful, positive insider trading activity is another way to look at the financial markets. Obviously, there are plenty of incentives for a corporate insider to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Several academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if piggybackers understand where to look (learn more here).

Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI)

Thus, it’s important to study the latest info surrounding Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI).

What does the smart money think about Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI)?

At Q2’s end, a total of 11 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -21% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes substantially.

Out of the hedge funds we follow, Impax Asset Management, managed by Ian Simm, holds the most valuable position in Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI). Impax Asset Management has a $46.3 million position in the stock, comprising 5.6% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by David Dreman of Dreman Value Management, with a $16.6 million position; 0.5% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Other hedge funds with similar optimism include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, John I. Dickerson’s Summit Global Management and Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors.

Because Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI) has experienced bearish sentiment from the smart money’s best and brightest, logic holds that there were a few money managers that elected to cut their entire stakes at the end of the second quarter. Intriguingly, Brian Ashford-Russell and Tim Woolley’s Polar Capital cut the biggest position of the 450+ funds we track, worth about $2.3 million in call options., and Matthew Hulsizer of PEAK6 Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $2.1 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 3 funds at the end of the second quarter.

How are insiders trading Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI)?

Insider buying is most useful when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last six-month time period, Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI) 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 Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI). These stocks are Coherent, Inc. (NASDAQ:COHR), Geospace Technologies Corp (NASDAQ:GEOS), Ixia (NASDAQ:XXIA), Curtiss-Wright Corp. (NYSE:CW), and Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ:CGNX). This group of stocks are the members of the scientific & technical instruments industry and their market caps are closest to ITRI’s market cap.

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