Orbital Sciences Corp (ORB): Hedge Funds and Insiders Are Bearish, What Should You Do?

Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB) was in 9 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. ORB investors should pay attention to a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds lately. There were 9 hedge funds in our database with ORB holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB)

In the financial world, there are plenty of metrics market participants can use to analyze publicly traded companies. A duo of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite fund managers can outperform the S&P 500 by a healthy amount (see just how much).

Equally as important, bullish insider trading activity is another way to parse down the stock market universe. Just as you’d expect, there are lots of motivations for an upper level exec to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this method if investors understand what to do (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a peek at the recent action surrounding Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB).

What does the smart money think about Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB)?

Heading into 2013, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 0% from the third quarter. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, holds the biggest position in Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB). Royce & Associates has a $11.7 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, with a $2.8 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedge funds that hold long positions include D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

Judging by the fact that Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB) has experienced falling interest from hedge fund managers, logic holds that there lies a certain “tier” of money managers who sold off their entire stakes in Q4. It’s worth mentioning that Israel Englander’s Millennium Management said goodbye to the largest stake of all the hedgies we key on, comprising close to $1.1 million in stock., and Mike Vranos of Ellington was right behind this move, as the fund said goodbye to about $0.7 million worth. These bearish behaviors are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

How are insiders trading Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB)?

Bullish insider trading is most useful when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last 180-day time frame, Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 5 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 Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB). These stocks are Elbit Systems Ltd. (USA) (NASDAQ:ESLT), Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:SWHC), AAR Corp. (NYSE:AIR), Kaman Corporation (NYSE:KAMN), and Sturm, Ruger & Company (NYSE:RGR). All of these stocks are in the aerospace/defense products & services industry and their market caps match ORB’s market cap.