Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX): Insiders Are Dumping, Should You? – Hawkins, Inc. (NASDAQ:HWKN), Tronox Ltd (NYSE:TROX)

Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX) was in 12 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. MTX investors should be aware of a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers in recent months. There were 14 hedge funds in our database with MTX holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX)

In the financial world, there are dozens of indicators shareholders can use to watch their holdings. A duo of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best investment managers can outclass their index-focused peers by a significant amount (see just how much).

Just as key, positive insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the world of equities. Just as you’d expect, there are plenty of incentives for a corporate insider to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this method if shareholders know where to look (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a look at the recent action encompassing Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX).

How have hedgies been trading Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 12 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -14% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes substantially.

Of the funds we track, Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates had the most valuable position in Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX), worth close to $158 million, accounting for 0.5% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Third Avenue Management, managed by Martin Whitman, which held a $30 million position; the fund has 0.7% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other peers that hold long positions include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital and Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors.

Judging by the fact that Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX) has experienced falling interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s safe to say that there were a few hedge funds who sold off their positions entirely last quarter. At the top of the heap, Mike Vranos’s Ellington cut the largest position of the “upper crust” of funds we monitor, totaling an estimated $1 million in stock., and Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies was right behind this move, as the fund cut about $1 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 2 funds last quarter.

How are insiders trading Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX)?

Bullish insider trading is particularly usable when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest six-month time period, Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 3 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX). These stocks are GSE Holding Inc (NYSE:GSE), Hawkins, Inc. (NASDAQ:HWKN), Axiall Corp (NYSE:AXLL), NL Industries, Inc. (NYSE:NL), and Tronox Ltd (NYSE:TROX). This group of stocks are the members of the synthetics industry and their market caps match MTX’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
GSE Holding Inc (NYSE:GSE) 4 0 0
Hawkins, Inc. (NASDAQ:HWKN) 4 0 3
Axiall Corp (NYSE:AXLL) 3 0 4
NL Industries, Inc. (NYSE:NL) 1 0 0
Tronox Ltd (NYSE:TROX) 27 3 0

With the results exhibited by our strategies, everyday investors should always watch hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Minerals Technologies Inc (NYSE:MTX) applies perfectly to this mantra.