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

Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB) was in 6 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. ORB has seen a decrease in hedge fund interest recently. There were 10 hedge funds in our database with ORB positions at the end of the previous quarter.

Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB)According to most shareholders, hedge funds are perceived as worthless, old financial vehicles of the past. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open today, we at Insider Monkey look at the leaders of this group, around 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group has its hands on the majority of the smart money’s total capital, and by tracking their best equity investments, we have identified a few investment strategies that have historically outpaced the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outperformed the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Just as key, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the marketplace. As the old adage goes: there are a variety of stimuli for an upper level exec to drop 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 “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, it’s important to take a glance at the recent action surrounding Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB).

What have hedge funds been doing with Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 6 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -40% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings meaningfully.

According to our comprehensive database, Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, holds the biggest position in Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB). Royce & Associates has a $15.9 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Martin Whitman of Third Avenue Management, with a $12.9 million position; 0.2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedgies that hold long positions include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

Seeing as Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB) has faced bearish sentiment from the smart money, logic holds that there was a specific group of hedgies that decided to sell off their full holdings at the end of the first quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies dropped the biggest investment of the 450+ funds we watch, comprising close to $2.8 million in stock.. Ken Griffin’s fund, Citadel Investment Group, also dumped its stock, about $0.9 million worth. These transactions are important to note, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 4 funds at the end of the first quarter.

What have insiders been doing with Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is particularly usable when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest six-month time period, Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 8 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the returns exhibited by the aforementioned research, everyday investors should always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Orbital Sciences Corp (NYSE:ORB) is an important part of this process.

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