Should You Buy Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR)?

Is Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) a buy, sell, or hold? The best stock pickers are becoming hopeful. The number of long hedge fund positions advanced by 5 in recent months.

If you’d ask most shareholders, hedge funds are perceived as underperforming, outdated financial vehicles of the past. While there are more than 8000 funds with their doors open at present, we choose to focus on the moguls of this group, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group oversees most of all hedge funds’ total asset base, and by watching their top investments, we have figured out a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed the market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outperformed the S&P 500 index by 25 percentage points in 6.5 month (see all of our picks from August).

Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR)

Equally as important, positive insider trading activity is another way to parse down the stock market universe. Just as you’d expect, there are plenty of stimuli for an executive to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Various academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this strategy if investors know where to look (learn more here).

Now, let’s take a gander at the recent action encompassing Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR).

How have hedgies been trading Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 30 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 20% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes considerably.

Of the funds we track, Edgar Wachenheim’s Greenhaven Associates had the most valuable position in Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR), worth close to $216 million billion, comprising 6.6% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Ken Heebner of Capital Growth Management, with a $171 million position; the fund has 4.5% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedge funds with similar optimism include Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, Donald Chiboucis’s Columbus Circle Investors and Robert Pohly’s Samlyn Capital.

As one would reasonably expect, key money managers were breaking ground themselves. Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, initiated the biggest position in Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR). Renaissance Technologies had 61 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. John Brennan’s Sirios Capital Management also initiated a $29 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new WHR investors: Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, and Charles Anderson’s Fox Point Capital Management.

How are insiders trading Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR)?

Insider buying is best served when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest six-month time period, Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 6 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the results demonstrated by our time-tested strategies, everyday investors should always monitor hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) applies perfectly to this mantra.

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Insider Monkey’s small-cap strategy returned 29.2% between September 2012 and February 2013 versus 8.7% for the S&P 500 index. Try it now by clicking the link above.