Should You Avoid Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE:QUAD)? – NetSpend Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:NTSP), ExlService Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXLS)

Is Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE:QUAD) a buy right now? The best stock pickers are selling. The number of long hedge fund bets stayed the same which is a slightly negative development in our experience

At the moment, there are plenty of gauges shareholders can use to track stocks. A pair of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top hedge fund managers can outperform their index-focused peers by a superb margin (see just how much).

Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE:QUAD)

Just as beneficial, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the financial markets. As the old adage goes: there are a number of incentives for an upper level exec to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Several academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if investors know where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a glance at the recent action surrounding Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE:QUAD).

What have hedge funds been doing with Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE:QUAD)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 10 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes meaningfully.

Of the funds we track, Centerbridge Partners, managed by Mark T. Gallogly, holds the largest position in Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE:QUAD). Centerbridge Partners has a $47 million position in the stock, comprising 3.6% of its 13F portfolio. On Centerbridge Partners’s heels is John M. Angelo and Michael L. Gordon of Angelo Gordon & Co, with a $45 million position; the fund has 4% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that hold long positions include Ron Gutfleish’s Elm Ridge Capital, Pasco Alfaro / Richard Tumure’s Miura Global Management and Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management.

Seeing as Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE:QUAD) has faced a declination in interest from the smart money, it’s safe to say that there is a sect of money managers that decided to sell off their positions entirely in Q4. At the top of the heap, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management sold off the biggest position of all the hedgies we monitor, totaling an estimated $0 million in stock. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

Insider trading activity in Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE:QUAD)

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is most useful when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest six-month time period, Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE:QUAD) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE:QUAD). These stocks are ABM Industries, Inc. (NYSE:ABM), ExlService Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXLS), NetSpend Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:NTSP), TeleTech Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTEC), and Atlas Resource Partners, L.P. (NYSE:ARP). This group of stocks are the members of the business services industry and their market caps are similar to QUAD’s market cap.